Bio Glues: Crab shells, spider webs, gecko feet, burrowing frogs, mussels and c. crescentus bacteria

Researchers from the University of New South Wales (Australia) BIopolymer Research Group have isolated a potential bio glue from crab shells that could be used in ophthalmic and other surgical procedures:

Called “SurgiLux”, this glue can also be used in brain and nerve surgeries. the glue is applied onto the surgical wound and is then sealed with heat application from a laser. This prevents risk of infection and scarring, which are unwanted complications in eye surgeries.

We have tracked the identification and evaluation of many different biologically-based glues and adhesives by academic and commercial sources. The span a wide range of biological sources providing adhesion of various types for these organisms.  Examples of others that have been identified and are under various stages of development (or being considered) include those from the golden orb weaving spider and gecko feet, Australian burrowing frogs, mussels and the C. crescentus bacteria.

Because adhesion is an important biological function, as illustrated by these examples, these naturally occurring bioglues have evolved for a number of purposes, providing very strong adhesion.  And since these glues are biologically based, they potentially offer superglue-like adhesion without the toxicity characteristic of synthetically-derived, cyanoacrylate-based glues.

Medical and surgical glues are the subject of MedMarket Diligence‘s 2012 report, “Worldwide Surgical Sealants, Glues, Wound Closure and Anti-Adhesion, 2012-2017”, Report #S175.