Naturally sticky: Biologically-based medical glues dominate

Medical glues are either biologically-based, cyanoacrylate, or other synthetic. The bulk of global sales of medical glues are biologically-based, (includes fibrin, thrombogen, and others), cyanoacrylate-based glues, and other synthetic glues.

Cyanoacrylate-based glues, include those from Ethicon, Adhezion Biomedical, B. Braun, Meyer-Haake, and others. Cyanoacrylates provide strong adhesion, but biologically-based glues have found more applications, both topically and internally. “Other” glues are of a variety of synthetic types; these glues have yet to gain more than 4% share globally.

Below is illustrated the growth of biologically-based glues by region, showing that most growth in this segment will be from Asia/Pacific markets, which are consistently demonstrating higher growth than in western markets.

Global Markets for Biologically-Based Medical Glues, 2015-2022, USD MillionsSource: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S290. (Order online)


High strength medical glues and adhesives

Originally from MedMarket Diligence Report #S175. See the 2012 Report #S190, “Worldwide Surgical Sealants, Glues and Wound Closure, 2010-2017.” See also “High-Strength Adhesives versus Sutures/Staples in Wound Closure” from the 2012 Report #S190.

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.

Sutures will be replaced by cyanoacrylate glues in many procedures over the next 10 years but these adhesives do not represent the ideal alternative to suturing. 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.

 Companies Commercializing Cyanoacrylate-based High-Strength Medical Adhesives


Source: MedMarket Diligence. See 2012 updated report #S190.

Active programs are under development in three categories of new high-strength adhesive closure and securement products. The first of these comprises the application of medical grade cyanoacrylates to internal procedures for many new surgical indications and the development of procedure-enabling devices for the delicate and precise application of these strong adhesives will lead to strong market segment growth. The second category of new products will arise from improvements and new indications for existing biomaterial adhesives. The third category of new products will arise over the next decade and will include new polymer adhesives based on new chemistries.

Growth in high strength medical adhesives is in excess of 20% annually due to recent regulatory approvals and will be sustained, though at more modest rates, over the next decade. It will be fueled by increased incidence of surgery, greater adoption of these cyanoacrylate and newer adhesive products for internal surgical applications, and the need for improved, fast-acting and easy-to-use products for use in minimally invasive procedures. In addition, it is becoming recognized that these products have a role to play in reducing infection and improving cosmesis of surgical wounds to the surface of the skin and this will also drive the value of this attractive market segment.

See the 2012 Report #S190, “Worldwide Surgical Sealants, Glues, Wound Closure and Anti-Adhesion Markets, 2010-2017.”