Sealants/Glues, Hemostats, Other Wound Closure Markets, Size and Growth

Products in wound closure include sutures/staples, tapes, vascular closure devices, surgical hemostats, and surgical sealants/glues.

Wound types have not changed over history, with a slight exception being the emergence (several decades ago) of femoral punctures associated with catheterization procedures. But what has changed, and what continues to evolve, is the practice of closing those wounds. Sutures, staples and tapes are a mainstay of medical practice, representing uncomplicated methods to secure wounds. And while innovators continue to change the form and function of these products to improve performance, the more recently introduced surgical hemostats, vascular closure, and surgical sealants/glues have seized significant shares of wound closure caseload and are growing marginally faster than sutures/staples and tapes. The result is and will be an erosion of traditional wound closure technology shares.

Below is illustrated the size/growth of segments in the global wound closure market.

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Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; “Worldwide Surgical Sealants, Glues, and Wound Closure Markets, 2013-2018″, Report #S192.

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:

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*Hemostasis is covered in report #S192.

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S192.

Factors Affecting Wound Market Growth Rates

Gauze dressings, bioengineered skin, alginates, negative pressure devices, cellular growth factors, hydrogels, antimicrobial dressings — all of these products (and more) represent the practice of wound management for the entire spectrum of wound types and severities.

Practice patterns, regulatory requirements, price pressures, healthcare delivery system gatekeepers, demographics, cultural sensitivities — all of these represent a sampling of the different forces that dictate the size and outlook of the markets for different wound management products in global markets.

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It’s no surprise, then, that product sales are growing (or declining) at different rates in different regions of the world, but the data is clear on this. MedMarket Diligence researched and published this data in its global wound management market Report #S249, which details the clinical practice of wound management, the products on the market and in development, the current and forecast markets for each worldwide and regionally and the competitors vying for market presence now and in the future.  Research from primary and secondary sources, the global wound market data illustrated above (which is also detailed by country) and presented in Report #S249 is a compelling read for market participants.

Hemostat products and companies

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Hemostats have been used for over a hundred years to prevent bleeding in the surgical situation. Primarily these products were first introduced to prevent hematomas during surgery with the aim of preventing resultant infections. During the 1980s and 1990s, the popularity of hemostats increased rapidly as surgeons tried to avoid excessive use of blood transfusions for reasons of economy and the threat of disease transmission. Products were launched during this period by many of the large medical device manufacturers, such as Johnson & Johnson, which now sells Surgicel (an oxidized regenerated cellulose hemostat), Instat (a freeze-dried collagen product), and Spongostan/Surgifoam (a freeze-dried gelatin hemostat). For stopping bleeding, modern hemostats go far beyond simple gauze.

Almost all hemostatic agents work in conjunction with or in addition to the body’s own blood clotting activity. These agents generally work by physically obstructing the outflow of blood in the wound, accelerating clotting reactions, and providing a matrix for increased platelet interactions, resulting in faster and stronger fibrin clot formation that can bind to and seal vascular injuries. However, the effective hemostatic action of these products depends heavily on the patient having a capable and intact coagulation function. This may not be the case if the patient has received, for example, a synthetic colloid fluid in the field to prevent shock, which results in hemodilution, or if the patient is hypothermic or in hypovolemic shock. If there is pre-existing coagulation deficiency, then many of these hemostats will not work. There is a need for a hemostatic agent that can function effectively in the absence of the patient’s coagulation function. One of the products that function well in these situations is the fibrinogen-based dressing.

Fibrin sealants can also act as hemostatic agents, so there is in effect some overlap between the ‘Fibrin and Other Sealants’ and the ‘Hemostats’ categories. However, at upwards of $600 per use, fibrin sealants are rather too expensive to use as hemostats. There are over 40 active companies market and/or developing hemostat products and many of them have multiple types of hemostats based on the constituent active ingredients.  Below is illustrated the number of active hemostat companies based on the product types they are pursuing or selling.

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC, Report #S190.

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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.

Secrets of Bio Glues

Researchers at the University of Akron have revealed the evolutionary strength of spider web glue. Published in the May 17, 2010, issue of Nature Communications, the research revealed that the effectiveness and strength of the spider web glue ensues from the highly entangled, cross-linked polymers in each droplet of the glue, which enables the adhesive force to be transmitted throughout the glue.

UA researcher Vasav Sahni notes:

[The] stickiness of the glue droplets depends on the speed at which they are stretched.

Subsequently, the glue droplets can hold on to fast-flying insects when they initially impact webs and retain trapped insects for a time period long enough for them to be subdued by the spider.

“This finding should significantly benefit the development of synthetic adhesives for biomedical, orthopedics and wound-healing applications. The understanding of how spiders use this unique glue will allow scientists to develop reversible adhesives that work in the presence of water,” says Dhinojwala.

As we have often highlighted in the past ("Sea life and other sources of glue to mend people" link or "Bio Glues" link), a wide range of biological sources have been identified and are under evaluation (or adaptation) as medical and surgical glues due to their evolutionarily-designed strength, biocompatibility and other inherent advantages.

See also the MedMarket Diligence, "Worldwide Surgical Sealants, Glues and Wound Closure, 2009-2013." Report #S175

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.)