Surgical Sealants: (Why) must they be liquids?

The simple answer is that there is no God-given reason why a product used to seal a hole or a diffusely oozing surface must be a liquid. Plenty of history and ingrained practice, but in practicality there are few places where being able to squirt a liquid trumps the idea of applying a surgical sealant in film form. In fact there are many good reasons why for some indications a liquid may be the worst option; Liquids have a habit of migrating, are difficult to apply to a defined and limited area, are difficult to apply in the appropriate and homogeneous quantity, have questionable duration of effect, are often expensive and require preparation in advance of the time when they will be actually needed.
Of course they do have some favourable characteristics. A liquid will flow into complex surface anatomy for instance and if it polymerises there will act like a filler, increased surface area contact acting as an anchor for the block of what is at this stage a solid glue. But is it always a good idea for a sealant to sit between the wound edges we’d really like to see healing together?
So consider for a minute the idea of converting this liquid into a film. What would the ideal sealant look like if converted to a film?……and how would it perform compared with its liquid counterpart. Well for a start it would not flow into interstices, but being a (comparatively)stronger material would provide more tissue support. Secondly, without the need to polymerise in situ it could use more of that polymerising capacity to lock it to the tissue surface (energy of adhesion from TissuePatch always outperforms liquid comparators). Thirdly it would require no preparation. Fourthly it would go exactly where the surgeon put it.
So here’s the challenge to surgeons across specialities…..break out of the preconception that a sealant really must be a liquid. Seven years of research and three years of surgical experience have told us a sealant in film form can be a real world alternative.
At Tissuemed we believe we’re offering the “Star Trek” solution……TissuePatch is a sealant Jim, but not as you know it.