A nontoxic glue modeled after adhesive proteins produced by mussels and other creatures has been found to outperform commercially available products, pointing toward potential surgical glues to replace sutures and staples. Most adhesives must overcome a problem: They do not work well in moist environments because water interferes with the adhesion process. Those used in medical applications must meet an additional requirement: They must be nontoxic and biocompatible. In efforts to develop products that address this need, National Science Foundation-funded researchers have been inspired by natural glues. Specifically, underwater application and bonding has been demonstrated with materials based on organisms such as sandcastle worms and mussels.
Provided by National Science Foundation