It may not be obvious what links all of these creatures, but it is their all-natural adhesiveness.
We have for some time been tracking the very wide range of naturally occurring “bio-glues” or other adhesives (or adhesive mechanisms) that are being evaluated to either be used directly as medical/surgical adhesives or be used as models to create bio-inspired med/surg adhesives.
(This technique of “biomimicry”, in which products are developed that exploit or replicate features in nature, is not new. Velcro, for instance, was invented in 1941 by Swiss engineer George de Mestral, who recognized a potential product in burrs, the plant seed pods covered with hooked spines that readily attach to fur, fabrics and almost any surface that has filamentous covering.)
In the bio-glue list, we add another in the remora fish, which has long demonstrated a remarkable ability to adhere to sharks and other marine animals without causing apparent damage to their tissues and has joined the ranks of the other bio-glues under study — at least to consider their possible development as commercial products, including for medical/surgical adhesion.
- remora fish
- crab shells
- burrowing frogs
- spider webs
- porcupine quills
- sandcastle worms
- C. crescentus bacteria
- parasitic worm (pomphorhynchus laevis)
Most of these have at least been preliminarily investigated as to why they have such high strength, why they adhere under certain challenging conditions and other reasons. Further research and development, in some cases to an advanced degree, has been done on a number of these to actually either directly utilize
MedMarket Diligence tracks the actual medical/surgical markets for fibrin and other sealants, glues, hemostats, tapes, staples/sutures/clips and anti-adhesion products in Report #S190.