even when tissues are moving
To repair ruptured or pierced organs and tissues, surgeons commonly use staples, sutures and wires to bring and hold the wound edges together so that they can heal. However, these procedures can be difficult to perform in hard-to-reach areas of the body and wounds are often not completely sealed immediately. They also come with the risk that tissues are further damaged and infected. A particular challenge is posed by wounds in fragile or elastic tissues that continuously expand or contract and relax, like the breathing lung, the beating heart and pulsing arteries.
To remedy some of these problems, biomedical engineers have developed a range of surgical sealants that can bond tissues to stop leakages. Yet, “currently available sealants are not suitable for most surgical applications and they do not work alone without the need for suturing or stapling because they lack an optimal combination of elasticity, tissue adhesion and strength. Using our expertise in creating materials for regenerative medicine, we aimed to create an actual fix for this problem in a multi-disciplinary effort with clinicians and bioengineers,”