Surgical Bioadhesive

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

This project 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. 


Wanna get involved? We are recruiting research members and project leads for Surgical Bioadhesive! Check out the links below:

Research Member

Project Co-Lead

Team Leads

Sara Fraser

Sara is a Co-Team Lead for the new Surgical 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.