Development of an elastic sealant for surgical applications
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The need to close wounds and prevent air/liquid leakage is commonly faced in surgical operations. It is a necessary step required for proper post-operative tissue function and healing. In the past, sutures and staples have been used to carry out this function; however, these different methods each come with limitations based on material and application. Recent studies have shown sealant glues to be a new method with much promise in connecting tissues. Several commercially available products have shown biocompatibility, along with ease of application and strong adherence; however, these come with their own set of limitations. In this project I present a novel tissue adhering substance made from human protein elastin. This protein sealant will allow us to address several issues in tissue-engineered materials such as biocompatibility, cytotoxicity, adhesion strength, binding in wet environment and elasticity. Using recombinant technology, we have been able to purify this protein monomer and form glue-like hydrogels using a cross-linker and UV light activator. This sealant was tested in in vitro models and porcine ex vivo lung model. The results indicate an increased adherence to the tissue as well as a high elasticity allowing the sealant to move more naturally with the tissue. Further testing in large animal in vivo studies will be performed to show safety and efficacy before being implemented into clinical practice.
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