Press "Enter" to skip to content

A Novel Kind Of “Painless” Adhesive Developed For Biomedical Applications

A new painless adhesive that functions even on wet surfaces can soon make the taking away of band-aids much less hurting, states an international group of scientists. The new adhesive can stick on wet materials powerfully—such as living tissue and hydrogel—and be effortlessly separated in the existence of UV (ultra-violet) light, a characteristic that can be implemented to a variety of new medical processes.

The adhesives can be utilized to affix and painlessly separate wound dressings, wearable robotics, and transdermal drug delivery devices. Yang Gao, Lead Author and scientist at Xi’an Jiaotong University, “Our technique of utilizing light to stimulate removal is painless and non-invasive.” The adhesive utilizes a polymer chains’ aqueous solution dispersed between 2 non-sticky substances.

The 2 materials stick poorly together on their own, however, the polymer chains function as a molecular suture, sewing the 2 substances together by shaping a system with the 2 pre-existing polymer networks. This procedure is called topological entanglement. When rendered to UV light, the system of stitches disbands, sorting out the 2 materials.

In the research, issued in the Advanced Materials journal, the team validated detachment and adhesion on several materials, attaching together hydrogels; elastomers; organic tissue & hydrogels; hydrogels & inorganic solids; and elastomers & hydrogels. Though the team concentrated on utilizing UV light to stimulate detachment, their study proposes the likelihood that the sewing polymer can separate with near-infrared light.

Likewise, recently EPFL scientists also designed a hydrogel—composed of almost 90% water—that sticks naturally to soft tissue such as the meniscus and cartilage. If the hydrogel bears repair cells, it can assist the harmed tissue to cure. The new hydrogel is basically a composite material comprising a fiber network and a double-network matrix. This structure maintains the strong adhesive capacity of the material by blunting the influence of mechanical stresses.