Empa develops glue for wounds

Researchers at the Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) have developed a nanoparticle-based tissue glue that can be used on wounds that are not conducive to stitches.

Image Credit: Empa

Wound-related complications arising after operations can still be life-threatening despite medical advances, writes Empa in a statement. Internal wounds in particular pose a risk of haemorrhage, which is difficult to treat because it is not easy to stitch or apply a plaster to internal wounds. 

St.Gallen researchers led by Inge Herrmann have now developed an alternative for closing such wounds: a nanoparticle-based tissue glue. The glue combines with bioglass, which has different properties depending on the elements used; one formula, for example, is good with bones, another is more effective with soft tissue. The combination of glue and bioglass makes the blood clot more quickly at the location of the wound.

The idea of a tissue glue is not new, but conventional glue consists primarily of fibrin, which is not only very expensive but can also trigger immune responses.

According to Empa, their newly developed tissue glue opens up completely new treatment possibilities. A first study of its potential surgical use has already been published. The glue was tested on intestinal injuries in pigs and the first findings were extremely promising. “So promising, in fact, that this line of research is still being pursued,” wrote Empa. 

Herrmann believes that the glue could offer further possibilities if it is given additional properties.

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