3D-Printable Tissue Adhesive—A New Biomedical Standard

MIT researchers just announced a 3-D printable tissue adhesive that can form fast tissue adhesion in surgical settings. Until now, existing adhesives involved time-consuming and skill-dependent application and patient discomfort. The new printable tissue adhesive shows superior tissue adhesion, rapid sealing, and a unique blood-repelling feature. This could be a breakthrough in wound care and biomedical device applications. The research is published in Nature Communications.

The research focused on developing a 3D printable tissue adhesive that could deliver custom-sealing patches and devices. The team created a tissue adhesive ink comprised of acrylic acid grafted to polyurethane, which provided strong adhesion to tissues.

They also incorporated a blood-repelling hydrophobic matrix into the adhesive structure. The matrix is a protective barrier that prevents direct contact with bodily fluids while maintaining the adhesive’s integrity, even in the challenging conditions found in bleeding tissues.

The 3D printable tissue adhesive demonstrates superior tissue adhesion performance compared to existing commercial products. There was also an unexpected breakthrough–the potential to infuse the adhesive with a blood-repellent fluid. This positions the 3D printable tissue adhesive at the forefront of biomedical materials. 

The patches are exhibiting remarkable strength and toughness across multiple tissues. Mechanical tests demonstrate their resilience to shear forces, burst pressures, and tensile loads, indicating suitability in diverse physiological environments. Biocompatibility studies also confirmed their safety, with minimal cytotoxicity observed, and in vivo models, including trachea, colon, liver, and femoral artery repairs, show successful adhesion and integration into the surrounding tissue.

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