A sticky gel made from polyethylene glycol and a polycarbonate of dihydroxyacetone (MPEG-pDHA) can be used to seal surgical wounds, according to US researchers. The material might be used to close the hollow left by removal of cancerous breast tissue and so prevent fluid accumulation. The same material could also be used to stop bleeding in damaged organs, such as the liver. Current animal-derived products take too long to degrade, often causing infection. By contrast, water soluble DHA adheres readily to biological amine groups but is highly biodegradable and so removed by the body quickly.
- Design of an injectable synthetic and biodegradable surgical biomaterial
P. N. Zawaneh, S. P. Singh, R. F. Padera, P. W. Henderson, J. A. Spector, D. Putnam,
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2010, online