Project TitleAdhesive Hydrogels For Various Surgical Applications
Track Code2012-123
Short Description

Advanced polymer with negative-swelling and high mechanical strength properties for surgical applications 

#materials #adhesive #biomedical #therapeutics #drugdelivery


Surgical wound closures have depended on sutures and staples for a very long time. However, in recent years, studies have shown that these wound closure techniques are associated with more post-operative pain than when adhesives and sealants are used. There are a variety of surgical adhesives on the market, but their most common problem is that they absorb water at physiological conditions and swell over time. Adhesive swelling poses a considerable problem for the patient, as it weakens the wound junction and can lead to serious complications like local nerve compression. Northwestern University researchers have developed a novel polymer, which can be used in a surgical setting as an adhesive or a sealant. Their polymer is based on adhesive proteins found in mussels, and can bypass many of the issues seen with other surgical adhesives on the market. The increased mechanical strength of this novel polymer is achieved since this material does not absorb water at physiologic conditions. Therefore, this new adhesive hydrogel could improve patient outcomes and lower the risk of post-operative complications. 

TagsMaterials: adhesive, MATERIALS: biomedical, THERAPEUTICS: drug delivery
Posted DateJan 22, 2015 5:34 PM


Devin G. Barrett

Philip B. Messersmith*


  • Surgical adhesives
  • Tissue scaffolds
  • Drug delivery platforms
  • Medical sealants


  • Enhanced mechanical properties compared to polyethylene glycol-based adhesives
  • Increased strength
  • Less swelling then other adhesives


IP Status

US and international patent applications have been filed. 

Marketing Contact

Vara Josyula. PhD

Invention Manager 

(p) 847.491.4456