MIT Biorubber-Based Band-Aid Geckohesive

I was just joking about this last week in a story about the Sensium Wireless Monitoring Band-Aid. I suggested that you might use Geckel adhesive for a stickier bandage.

MIT researchers have created an adhesive surface that works in wet environments (like inside the body). It is made from a biocompatible material (meaning that it does not cause inflammation) and is biodegradable - it dissolves inside the body when its work is done.


(Biorubber-based adhesive)

The research team is led by MIT Institute Professor Robert Langer and Jeff Karp, an instructor of medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

"There is a big need for a tape-based medical adhesive," said Karp. For instance, a surgical adhesive tape made from this new material could wrap around and reseal the intestine after the removal of a diseased segment or after a gastric bypass procedure. It could also patch a hole caused by an ulcer...

We are inspired by the gecko to create a patterned interface to enhance the surface area of contact and thus the overall strength of adhesion."

Dry adhesives based on gecko-like nanotechnologies have been available since 2001; none meet the criteria for use inside the body.

The MIT researchers met these requirements by building their medical adhesive with a "biorubber" invented by Karp, Langer and others. Using micropatterning technology--the same technology used to create computer chips--the researchers shaped the biorubber into different hill and valley profiles at nanoscale dimensions. After testing them on intestinal tissue taken from pigs, they selected the stickiest profile, one with pillars spaced just wide enough to grip and interlock with the underlying tissue.

Karp then added a very thin layer of a sugar-based glue, to create a strong bond even to a wet surface.

In tests, the nanopatterned adhesive bonds were twice as strong as unpatterned adhesives. In tests of the new adhesive in living rats, the glue-coated nanopatterned adhesive showed over a 100 percent increase in adhesive strength compared to the same material without the glue. Moreover, the rats showed only a mild inflammatory response to the adhesive, a minor reaction that does not need to be overcome for clinical use.

From MIT creates gecko-inspired bandage via Gecko Tech for In Vivo Bandages.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/21/2008)

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