Mussel adhesive finds potential cardiovascular application

In a further advance leveraging the adhesive qualities of “bioglues, or naturally-derived materials used in nature — such as the adhesive that allows mussels to hold fast to rocks despite the churning waters around them — a University of British Columbia scientist has developed a gel modeled after the mussel peptide that might be used to prevent the rupture of atherosclerotic plaque in blood vessels.  The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science’s current issue of the online journal, PNAS Early Edition (see also

A whole class of biologically-derived adhesives — “bioglues” — including those from mussels, geckos, crab shells, burrowing frogs, spider webs, porcupine quills and even bacteria, are under investigation for their potential human clinical applications. (See link.)

A wide range of materials are in use and in development for medical applications in adhesive, sealing, hemostasis and other wound management functions.  See the press release from MedMarket Diligence (3/5/2012).

Fibrin and other sealants and surgical glues are the subject of the 2012 MedMarket Diligence report #S190, “Sealants, Glues, Wound Closure and Anti-Adhesion Worldwide Markets, 2012-2017.”

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  1. And this work was reported by researchers at U. Texas Artlington and Penn State University: Called iCMBAs (short for “injectable citrate-based mussel-inspired tissue bioadhesives”), these “…provided 2.5 to 8.0 times stronger adhesion in wet tissue conditions compared to fibrin glue. They also stopped bleeding instantly, facilitated wound healing, closed wounds without the use of sutures and offered controllable degradation.”