Slug Slime Interesting, but TissuePatch Surgical Sealant Ticks Today’s Boxes

As surgical sealant specialists, at Tissuemed we’re always intrigued (with a hint of caution) when advances in medical glues find their way into the mainstream press.

Last week saw coverage across print and online media – including the BBC, of an adhesive that is ‘inspired by slugs.’ Namely, the ‘Dusky Arion’ slug. This is the latest of a number of “bioinspired” technologies that mimic natural world phenomena. Better known examples in the field of adhesives include Geckos’ feet and Mussels.

There’s logic in harnessing natural products and processes in an attempt to provide an innovative solution to a medical challenge. After all, why not exploit features that have resulted from millions of years of evolution?

As we know at Tissuemed, there’s no doubting the potential for adhesives in surgery. We echo the words of last week’s coverage which saw commentators noting, “this technology is really cool” and there could be “absolutely huge demand” for it.

However the idea is still at an early stage and as expert Professor John Hunt, of Nottingham Trent University commented, “the detail of the biocompatibility will need to go beyond” what [has been] presented in the literature to guide clinical efficacy, safety and applicability in surgery.

The stickiness of ‘slug bio-glue’ comes from a combination of ionic and covalent bonding and the way the glue penetrates the tissue surface. The glue adheres within three minutes and gets stronger over time.

Sounds familiar?

Turning to the real world of today’s adhesives, there are obvious parallels with Tissuemed’s TissuePatch™ surgical sealant film. Here is a synthetic product that possesses its own bioadhesive component which is also fast-acting. Initial “tack” from electrostatic attraction is then quickly followed by covalent bonds to tissue proteins. We call this “TissueBond” technology, and it shares another feature with the slug slime idea in that it too will work in a wet environment. For evidence, see its use in a spinal fistula case, pictured.

Unlike the slug slime idea, TissuePatch has already been shown to be safe, biocompatible and has established regulatory approvals including CE mark and Chinese FDA. Furthermore its efficacy has been well established in a number of areas where surgeons need to prevent leaks.

Tissuemed first introduced TissuePatch™ in 2007. Ten years later it continues to be unique as a single component synthetic bioadhesive that covalently bonds to tissues to generate superior sealing properties compared to other products on the market.

For further information on TissuePatch surgical sealant film technology, click here. If you could like to discuss surgical applications for TissuePatch or have further questions, please contact us here.