Research ArticleBIOMATERIALS

Engineering a highly elastic human protein–based sealant for surgical applications

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Science Translational Medicine  04 Oct 2017:
Vol. 9, Issue 410, eaai7466
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aai7466

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A stretchy, sticky alternative to sutures

Repairing tissue ruptures during surgery can be complicated: Suturing requires piercing an already damaged tissue, and sealants such as glues may not match the material properties of the tissue, leading to subsequent leakage or rupture. Annabi et al. capitalized on the elastic properties of the human protein tropoelastin to engineer a photocrosslinkable hydrogel sealant material. The injectable material, MeTro, successfully sealed surgical incisions in blood vessels in rats and in lungs in pigs without evidence of leakage or rupture. Tunable elastic hydrogel sealants offer a promising adhesive, biocompatible, biodegradable material for tissue repair.