Algae-inspired adhesive for use in minimally invasive surgeries

The Problem

Current methods of wound closure are inconvenient for internal use, especially in laparoscopy and minimally invasive surgeries, leaving an unmet need in surgeons’ toolbox [1]–[3]. Although sutures have high tensile strength [3], [4], they are prone to infection and their repeated punctures damage surrounding tissues [3], [5]. Further, sutures are time-consuming and complicated to apply to difficult-to-access areas of the body [1], [3]. While some adhesives based on natural polymers are approved for medical use, they are limited by their low adhesion strength, complex preparation procedures, and unfavourable adverse events such as possible disease transmission and thrombosis [2], [3], [6], [7]. Additionally, most of these internal adhesives are only used in very specific surgical procedures for which they are exclusively suited [3], [7].

The Solution

Kelserra proposes to create a biomimetic surgical adhesive inspired by the adhesion mechanism used by brown algae (Fucus serratus) and primarily composed of alginate, phloroglucinol, and calcium ions. Preliminary research has shown that such a formulation can be as strong as commercial fibrin sealant, which is the most commonly used type of internal surgical adhesive, but without any of the health risks associated with fibrin sealants [2]. The primary goal is to develop and test a formulation that will maximize wet adhesion strength, minimize curing time, and maintain biocompatibility for a wide range of laceration lengths. Thus, the aim is to decrease surgery time and improve patient outcomes compared to current internal wound closure methods in minimally invasive surgery. 


Recruitment 2023 is closed for research members.


Interested in learning more and supporting this project? Check out Kelserra's sponsorship catalog below!

Kelserra Sponsorship.pdf

Team Leads

Sara Fraser

Sara is a Co-Team Lead for the new Algae-Inspired Bioadhesive project. She is a U3 Bioengineering student interested in advancing medical devices and pharmaceuticals to help patients in need.

Sara also enjoys spending time in nature and hanging out with her friends.

Karim Mustafa

Karim is a Co-Team Lead for the Algae-Inspired Bioadhesive project and is a U3 bioengineering student. He's excited to lead the project this term after being a research member for the Maneico project last year! Alongside Sara, he will be responsible for ensuring the smooth progression of the project and seeing that it reaches its best potential, being a guiding presence for his research team, as well as fostering motivation and team spirit.

In his spare time, he enjoys running, reading, and playing the piano. During the Winter 2024 semester, he plans to participate in a student exchange to Mexico!

Marlo Naish

Marlo is an interim co-team lead for Kelserra, an algae-inspired adhesive. She is a U2 neuroscience major and is interested in computational biology and biomedicine. She is excited to collaborate with a team of enthusiastic student researchers.

In her spare time she enjoys playing too many intramural sports, running and playing chess.