The market for high strength medical adhesives is growing, and is expected to continue to grow due to regulatory approvals and steady ongoing research and development. Active programs are currently under development in three areas for high strength surgical adhesives:
- The use of cyanoacrylate adhesives and new application devices for new internal surgical procedures
- New adhesive products based on existing biomaterial adhesives such as fibrin and albumin compounds
- New polymer adhesives based on entirely new chemistries (e.g., polyurethanes, proteins from living organisms).
The global market for high-strength medical adhesives is forecast to show strong double-digit growth during the forecast period, growing from roughly $713 million in 2011 to $1.72 billion by 2017. The USA represents, by far, the largest share of the global high strength medical adhesives market, and this is not expected to change during the forecast period.
Worldwide Market for High Strength Medical Adhesives, 2010-2017
Source: MedMarket Diligence Report #S190, “Worldwide Surgical Sealants, Glues, Wound Closure and Anti-Adhesion Markets, 2010-2017.”
Although some form of suturing wounds has been used for probably thousands of years due to their ease of use and strength of closure, but sutures’ simplicity can also be limiting. There are procedures in which sutures are too large or clumsy, and locations in which it is difficult for the surgeon to suture. They can lead to complications, such as intimal hyperplasia, in which cells respond to the trauma of the needle and thread by proliferating on the inside wall of the blood vessel, causing it to narrow at that point. This increases the risk of a blood clot getting stuck and obstructing blood flow. In addition, sutures may trigger an immune response, leading to inflamed tissue that also increases the risk of a blockage. These are some of the reasons why surgical adhesives are becoming increasingly popular.
As a logical derivative, surgeons want a product that is strong, easy-to-use and affordable, while being biocompatible and resorbable. TissuGlu (Cohera Medical), a urethane adhesive suited for plastic surgery procedures, is both biocompatible and resorbable, making it ideal for internal applications. It is also strong, user-friendly, and does not contain human/animal product derivatives. TissuGlu is currently only available for sale in Germany, but the company is rapidly preparing to sell in the other major markets of the EU.
One of the top five plastic surgery procedures performed in the United States is abdominoplasty, which has a reported post-operative complication rate of 15-52%. The most common complication is the formation of seroma. Usual methods to combat seroma formation include the placement of closed suction drains, use of compression garments around the tissue, use of progressive tension sutures, and use of fibrin sealants to reduce fluid accumulation. However, most of these methods can still lead to further complications such as leakage from drain sites, skin necrosis and inconsistent adhesion. High strength glues like TissuGlu and other products can solve this problem and garner significant caseload.