HealthQuill Drugs IISER scientists develop biomedical adhesive for tissue healing
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IISER scientists develop biomedical adhesive for tissue healing

IISER scientists develop versatile bioadhesive that can be used for medicinal, cosmetic and packaging/Unsplash pic

HQ Team

October 30, 2023: Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal (IISER) have developed a transparent biomedical adhesive that can seal and mend tissues, bones, and more. This biodegradable and biocompatible adhesive works underwater, and it has promising applications in medicine, eco-friendly packaging, and beyond.

The adhesive is biodegradable, which means it naturally breaks down, and it’s friendly to our bodies. Moreover, it requires no additional crosslinking agents or metal ions. This incredible adhesive is a game-changer in medicine and beyond.

Versatile & eco-friendly

This adhesive can be used to close wounds without staples or sutures, in dentistry, drug delivery, and tissue engineering, its uses in healthcare are endless. But it also has eco-friendly applications, making it valuable in packaging and more.

This groundbreaking research was led by Prof. Aasheesh Srivastava from IISER Bhopal, Dr. Aashish Sharma from G.D. Goenka University, Haryana, and Dr. Tanmay Dutta, a postdoctoral researcher at IISER Bhopal.

Learning from Marine Life

“Biomedical adhesives are bonding and sealing materials that provide support and cohesion to repair tissues and are extensively used in medicine. Suitable materials for these adhesives can be found in nature and are commonly secreted by underwater organisms such as sandcastle worms and mussels,” said Prof. Aasheesh Srivastava.

Such biomedical adhesives have been developed in the past too. But they come with certain limitations. For example, biomimetic adhesives made from natural polymers such as fibrin, collagen, gelatin, and chitosan, have a risk of triggering immunological reactions. This synthetic one overcomes them.

“We used a mixture of oppositely-charged water-soluble polyelectrolytes that are known for their biodegradability and biocompatibility. These polymers have multiple amide groups and thiol residues that lead to strong adhesion due to the formation of hydrogen bonds and disulfide bonds. The resulting adhesive layer is colourless and transparent,” added Professor Srivastava.

This adhesive is strong and capable of holding various materials together. It forms bonds using hydrogen and disulfide bonds, and it’s kind to tissues.

This adhesive doesn’t wash away when it gets wet, just like the adhesives marine animals use. The researchers used it to bond glass underwater. It could revolutionize bone repair and fracture healing, even in water.


The researchers developed three different formulations and found the one called A30 was the strongest as it could bind a variety of substrates such as mammalian bones, wood, glass, mica, and aluminum. The A30 had a porosity of 40% which helps in tissue regeneration through cell movement and equal distribution of weight or pressure across the adhered joint, resulting in quicker healing.

Dr Tanmay Dutta, Postdoctoral Researcher – IISER Bhopal, said “Our A30 adhesive could even bind bones while fully submerged under water, and after curing the adhered bone pieces could bear large weights while remaining bonded. Our adhesive provides a maximum adhesion strength of about 7 kg/cm2. This makes it a promising glue for bone restoration and fracture repair.”

The researchers are now working to make this adhesive even better for real-life applications, from cosmetics to biological uses. It’s an exciting step towards transparent, strong, and eco-friendly solutions.

This new finding has been published in the journal Chemistry — A European Journal.

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