Sticky stuff: remora, mussels, geckos, crab shells, Australian burrowing frogs, spider webs, porcupine quills, sandcastle worms

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.

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:

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 8.08.01 AM

*Hemostasis is covered in report #S192.

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S192.

Surgical Sealants and Glues in the Balance of Wound Closure

Sealants and glues are emerging as important adjunctive tools for sealing staple and suture lines, and some of these products also are being employed as general hemostatic agents to control bleeding in the surgical field. Manufacturers have also developed surgical sealants and glues that are designed for specific procedures – particularly those in which staples and sutures are difficult to employ or where additional reinforcement of the internal suture/staple line provides an important safety advantage.Suture-line-pixelated

Surgical sealants are made of synthetic or naturally occurring materials and are commonly used with staples or sutures to help completely seal internal and external incisions after surgery. In this capacity, they are particularly important for lung, spinal, and gastrointestinal operations, in which leaks of air, cerebrospinal fluid, or blood through the anastomosis can cause numerous complications. Limiting these leaks results in reduced mortality rates, less post-operative pain, shorter hospital stays for patients, and decreased health care costs.

Although some form of suturing wounds has been used for thousands of years, sutures and staples can be troublesome. There are procedures in which sutures are too large or clumsy to place effectively, and locations in which it is difficult for the surgeon to suture. Moreover, sutures 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 forming and obstructing blood flow. In addition, sutures and staples may trigger an immune response, leading to inflamed tissue, which also increases the risk of a blockage. Finally, as mentioned above, sutured and stapled internal incisions may leak, leading to dangerous post-surgical complications.

These are some of the reasons why surgical adhesives are becoming increasingly popular, both for use in conjunction with suture and staples and on a stand-alone basis. As a logical derivative, surgeons want a sealant product that is strong, easy-to-use and affordable, while being biocompatible and resorbable. In reality, it is difficult for manufacturers to meet all of these requirements, particularly with biologically active sealants, which tend to be pricey. Thus, for physicians, there is usually a trade-off to consider when deciding whether or not to employ these products.

Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 9.28.14 AMClosure of general surgical wounds (internal or external) is largely accomplished by a combination of surgical tapes, sutures & staples and, increasingly, surgical sealants and glues. For the reasons discussed, the rates of technology development and adoption among these causing a relative but not absolute decline of sutures and staples revenues worldwide.

Surgical sealants, glues, and hemostats can be divided into several different categories based on their primary components and/or their intended use. From a practical standpoint, they may be subdivided by composition into products containing biologically active agents, products made from natural and synthetic (nonactive) components, and nonactive scaffolds, patches, sponges, putties, powders, and matrices used as surgical hemostats.


Data drawn from MedMarket Diligence, LLC, Report #S192, “Worldwide Surgical Sealants, Glues, and Wound Closure Markets, 2013-2018.” See link.

 

Growth of High Strength Medical Adhesives

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.

Opportunities for med/surg sealants, glues, hemostats driven by type of clinical benefit, competition

Advanced products for the closure, sealing, hemostasis and other endpoints for medical and surgical wounds generate varying degrees of clinical benefit based on the manner and extent to which they enable management of different wound types.  Degrees range from the acute need end of “important and enabling” to the less clinically necessary “aesthetic and perceived benefits”:

  • Important and enabling: Important to prevent excessive bleeding and transfusion, to ensure safe procedure, and to avoid mortality and to avoid complications associated with excessive bleeding and loss of blood.
  • Improved clinical outcome: Reduces morbidity due to improved procedure, reduced surgery time, and prevention of complications such as fibrosis, post-surgical adhesion formation, and infection (includes adjunct to minimally invasive surgery).
  • Cost-effective and time-saving: Immediate reduction in surgical treatment time and follow-up treatments.
  • Aesthetic and perceived benefits: Selection is driven by aesthetic and perceived benefits, resulting in one product being favored over a number of medically equivalent treatments.

These benefits are clearly different on a clinical specialty-by-specialty basis.  The numbers of targeted or prospective procedures also vary considerably by specialty. As a result, wound closure and securement products have the following categorized potential use worldwide:

Source: “Surgical Procedures with Potential for the Use of Hemostats, Sealants, Glues and Adhesion Prevention Products, Worldwide “; Report #S190.


Worldwide Surgical Sealants, Glues, Wound Closure and Anti-Adhesion Markets, 2010-2017

This report details the complete range of sealants & glues technologies used in traumatic, surgical and other wound closure, including tapes, sutures, staples, mechanical closure, hemostats, fibrin sealants/glues and medical adhesives and anti-adhesion products. The report details current clinical and technology developments, with data on products in development (detailing market status) and on the market; market size and forecast; competitor market shares; competitor profiles; and market opportunity. The report provides full year actual data from 2011. The report provides a worldwide forecast to 2017 of the markets for these technologies, with emphasis on the market impact of new technologies through the forecast period. The report provides specific forecasts and shares of the worldwide market by segment for Americas (detail for U.S., Rest of North America and Latin America), Europe (detail for United Kingdom, German, France, Italy, Spain, Rest of Europe), Asia/Pacific (detail for Japan, Korea, Rest of Asia/Pacific) and Rest of World.

The report provides background data on the surgical, disease and traumatic wound patient populations targeted by current technologies and those under development, and the current clinical practices in the management of these patients, including the dynamics among the various clinical specialties or subspecialties vying for patient population and facilitating or limiting the growth of technologies. The report establish the current worldwide market size for major technology segments as a baseline for and projecting growth in the market through 2017. The report assesses and projects the composition of the market as technologies gain or lose relative market performance over this period. The report profiles 122 active companies in this industry, providing data on their current products, current market position and products under development.

The report's complete description, table of contents, and list of exhibits is at link.  The report is available for purchase and immediate download at link.

High Strength Medical and Surgical Glues

See the updated, published 2012 Report #S190, “Surgical Sealants, Glues, Sutures, Other Wound Closure and Anti-Adhesion, Worldwide Markets, 2012-2017.”

Cyanoacrylate products are the main form of high-strength surgical glue that is approved for human clinical use in the worldwide market. A number of new materials are under development for internal use in particular, but these represent new chemical entities and their commercialization is likely to be delayed by regulatory requirements.  While sutures will be replaced by cyanoacrylate glues in many procedures over the next 10 years, this will only occur after some technical challenges are overcome. For example, cyanoacrylate glues used for external skin closure are approximately five times less strong than sutures, and cyanoacrylates produce cytotoxic compounds as part of the curing process when used for securing torn or excised tissue. This has delayed the development and clinical evaluation of these potentially useful materials for internal surgical procedures. However, cyanoacrylate glues are marketed actively by a number of companies for topical wound closure in accident/emergency situations and in surgical closure.

Given the current size of the global market for high strength glues (at over $700 million) and the potential for this market to expand as products overcome the challenges of strength and toxicity, a respectable number of competitors compete in this space and many are working on further developing cyanoacrylate-based and other high strength adhesives (including fibrin-based and other “bio-glues”) to not only garner greater share of the existing market but to also erode the market for sutures and other mechanical wound closure products (e.g., clips and staples).

Source: MedMarket Diligence Report #S180, “Worldwide Surgical Sealants, Glues, Wound Closure and Anti-Adhesion Markets, 2010-2015.”

Ethicon (J&J), Covidien and B. Braun (Aesculap) hold the major positions in the market for high strength medical and surgical adhesives, but their positions are at risk, and will continue to be at risk, as long as the unmet need exists for stronger, more compatible glues.  Some of the many products on the market and in development in the area of high strength glues include SurgiSeal, DermaSeal, FloraGuard, LiquiBand, SkinLink, Histoacryl, Gluetiss, Autologous biological glue, Chemence USP Class VI adhesives, TissueGlu, Indermil, Glubran2, Glubran Tiss, GluSeal, GluSite, PeriAcryl, GluShield, Dermabond, InteguSeal, Epiglu, Surgical Tissue Sealants (STS) and others.

Report: Surgical Sealants, Glues, Wound Closure and Anti-adhesion Worldwide

MedMarket Diligence (MMD) has published its 2010 report on the worldwide market for surgical sealants and related products in surgical and traumatic wound management.

The analysis by MMD reveals the size of the evolving opportunity for a diverse set of products in global markets. Based on extensive primary and secondary research, and leveraging MMD’s position as the leading source for the medtech industry on the subject, the report provides industry participants and hopefuls with invaluable data and insights.

The report is described below and at link

This report details the complete range of sealants & glues technologies used in traumatic, surgical and other wound closure, from tapes, sutures and staples to hemostats, fibrin sealants/glues and medical adhesives. The report details current clinical and technology developments in this huge and rapidly growing worldwide market, with data on products in development and on the market; market size and forecast; competitor market shares; competitor profiles; and market opportunity.

This report is a market and technology assessment and forecast of surgical sealants, glues, hemostasis, other wound closure and anti-adhesion. The report details the current and emerging products, technologies and markets involved in wound closure and sealing using sutures and staples, tapes, hemostats, fibrin and sealant products, medical adhesives and products to prevent surgical adhesions. The report provides a worldwide historic (from 2008), current and annual forecast to 2015 of the markets for these technologies, with particular emphasis on the market impact of new technologies through the coming decade.  The report provides specific forecasts and shares of the worldwide market by segment for the U.S., Europe (United Kingdom, German, France, Italy, BeNeLux), Latin America, Japan, Korea and Rest of World.

The report provides background data on the surgical, disease and traumatic wound patient populations targeted by current technologies and those under development, and the current clinical practices in the management of these patients, including the dynamics among the various clinical specialties or subspecialties vying for patient population and facilitating or limiting the growth of technologies.

The report establishes the current worldwide market size for major technology segments as a baseline for and projecting growth in the market over a five-year forecast. The report also assesses and projects the composition of the market as technologies gain or lose relative market performance over this period.

See link for complete table of contents and list of exhibits.  The report may be ordered for immediate download from link.

Sealants, glues, wound closure, anti-adhesion market segments by country

The global market for surgical sealants, glues, other wound closure and anti-adhesion products (collectively referred to as "securement "products) is, like many medtech markets, dominated by the U.S., followed by Europe.  But as one examines the performance of individual product segments in this market, it becomes clear that local markets have enough differences in their drivers to result in surprising variation from one another.

Below are illustrated the absolute size of the markets for products in securement by country and the relative contribution of revenues from each securement product type by country.  The differences stand out.

Source: Preliminary findings, Report #S180, "Worldwide Surgical Sealants, Glues, Wound Closure and Anti-Adhesion Markets, 2010-2015". (Publishing October 2010)

Oysters, mussels, and (a growing list of) other bioglue sources

(Updated, 3 March 2014)

Previously, we have highlighted multiple types of naturally occurring biological glues (“bioglues”) that have been studied for their potential to be applied to human surgical/medical applications. (See “Bio Glues: Crab shells, spider webs, gecko feet, burrowing frogs, mussels and c. crescentus bacteria“).

Add to this list:

Nature-inspired surgical glue. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital are developing a poly(glycerol sebacate acrylate) (PGSA), a gel-like biomaterial that is composed of glycerol, a common ingredient in pharmaceutical, food and other human use, and sebacic acid, a naturally occurring fatty acid. This biomaterial compound will potentially enable strong, non-toxic adhesion of tissues while being water insoluble, a set of key requirements for effective surgical glues that can function in internal (as opposed to topical) applications. See link.

Oysters. Research is being done by Jonathan Wilkder at Perdue University on the naturally occurring cement used by oysters to secure their shells to each other and to reefs making extensive structures. The “cement” has turned out to be 10% organic (a protein) and 90% inorganic calcium carbonate, which turns out to be only slightly different in proportions than the oysters’ shells.  Most importantly, and this is an important consideration in the study, this cement is wet-setting, which is a valuable characteristic of surgical glue or bone cement.

Since manufacturers wish to develop a surgical glue with the requisite strength while also being biocompatible, the bioglues of oysters, mussels and other organisms become acutely of interest.  By contrast, synthetically developed high strength glues are often cyanoacrylate-based or similar and are therefore characterized by toxicity in local tissues, limiting their use to topical applications.


Bioglues are a topic of coverage in MedMarket Diligence’s analysis of the global products, technologies and markets surgical sealants, glues and wound closure.  See “Worldwide Market for Surgical Sealants, Glues, Wound Closure and Anti-Adhesion, 2012-2017”, Report #S190, publishing February 2012.

Technology platforms and clinical applications overlap

Diverse technologies have a surprising number of common threads, whether in the technologies themselves or in the clinical applications.  For this reason, manufacturers need to consider that:

1. A technology platform can be the launchpad for products in clinically diverse areas. Case in point, cell therapy, which as a fundamental scientific discipline can have uses as far afield as wound management, bone repair, treatment of myocardial ischemia and others.

2. A disease state can sometimes be targeted by many very different technologies.  Examples include that wound management can be accomplished by tissue engineering, sutures, fibrin-based surgical glues, cyanoacrylate-based surgical glues, dressings and others.

The driver behind technologies having multiple clinical applications is, of course, that companies wish to maximize their ROI.  

The driver behind single disease states being the target of multiple alternative technologies is cost — healthcare systems (in principle, anyway) seek the most competitive options for treating specific patient populations, and this driver has been gaining momentum over the past ten years due to “managed care” efforts as well as aggressive, cost-focus innovators creating technologies that displace market share with convincingly better patient outcomes compared to alternative technologies.


MedMarket Diligence publishes medical technology market reports on a wide range of clinical and technology subjects (of course, sometimes overlapping). See list.


(This post was done via the Palm Pre WebOS app Po’ster by Gabriele Nizzoli.)