Background: Tissue adhesives and sealants are being widely investigated for their potential to replace other more conservative wound closure techniques, such as sutures or staples. This relatively new approach is motivated by the desire to eliminate the occurrence of infections and provide a more efficient and rapid treatment. Desired physical properties of bioadhesives are necessary for their function in various applications of bonding and sealing. In this regard, the gelation time, viscosity, swelling and degradation rate should meet specific needs. Novel gelatin-alginate-based soft tissue adhesives, cross-linked by carbodiimide, have been thoroughly investigated in our research group. The present study examines the effect of the incorporation of reinforcing fibers, as well as hemostatic agents, on the structure and physical properties of the adhesive.
Methods: We tested the gelation time, viscosity, swelling ratio and weight loss ratio of various formulations.
Results: Our results show that the gelation time is dramatically decreased by the incorporation of high concentrations of either cellulose fibers or the hemostatic agent montmorillonite, and only moderately changed by the incorporation of the hemostatic agent kaolin. The presence of any of these three substances has also decreased the swelling ratio of the adhesive, a trend which plateaued at relatively low concentrations. Viscosity was increased by both cellulose fibers and montmorillonite, with a more prominent effect attributed to the latter.
Conclusion: These composite hydrogels show great promise in achieving diverse bioadhesive systems with properties which can be controlled and customized for a wide range applications.