It may not be obvious what links all of these creatures, but it is their all-natural adhesiveness. While we have covered these before, today Researchers at Purdue University report on the development of new glues with industrial applications (including medical) based on glues derived from, or inspired by, mussels and oysters.
The reality is that there is a very wide range of naturally occurring “bio-glues” or other adhesives (or adhesive mechanisms) that are being evaluated for their potential use as medical/surgical glues and 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.)
Below is a list of organism-derived “bio-glues”, a wide range of naturally-occurring adhesives that are being investigated for their potential development as commercial adhesives, 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 considerations. Further research and development, in some cases to an advanced degree, has been done on a number of these to actually either directly utilize these glues, modify them or develop new ones inspired by them.
MedMarket Diligence tracks the medical/surgical markets for fibrin and other sealants, glues, hemostats, tapes, vascular closure devices, and staples/sutures/clips in Report #S192. Products specifically related to closure of wounds (excluding hemostasis*) will exceed $11 billion in sales by 2018:
*Hemostasis is covered in report #S192.
Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S192.