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Biomimetics 2017, 2(4), 23; doi:10.3390/biomimetics2040023

Mechanically Reinforced Catechol-Containing Hydrogels with Improved Tissue Gluing Performance

INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials, Campus D2 2, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung, Ackermannweg 10, 55128 Mainz, Germany
Chemistry Department, Saarland University, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Marco d’Ischia and Daniel Ruiz-Molina
Received: 25 August 2017 / Revised: 30 October 2017 / Accepted: 2 November 2017 / Published: 13 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Catechol-Based Systems: Chemistry and Applications)
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In situ forming hydrogels with catechol groups as tissue reactive functionalities are interesting bioinspired materials for tissue adhesion. Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)–catechol tissue glues have been intensively investigated for this purpose. Different cross-linking mechanisms (oxidative or metal complexation) and cross-linking conditions (pH, oxidant concentration, etc.) have been studied in order to optimize the curing kinetics and final cross-linking degree of the system. However, reported systems still show limited mechanical stability, as expected from a PEG network, and this fact limits their potential application to load bearing tissues. Here, we describe mechanically reinforced PEG–catechol adhesives showing excellent and tunable cohesive properties and adhesive performance to tissue in the presence of blood. We used collagen/PEG mixtures, eventually filled with hydroxyapatite nanoparticles. The composite hydrogels show far better mechanical performance than the individual components. It is noteworthy that the adhesion strength measured on skin covered with blood was >40 kPa, largely surpassing (>6 fold) the performance of cyanoacrylate, fibrin, and PEG–catechol systems. Moreover, the mechanical and interfacial properties could be easily tuned by slight changes in the composition of the glue to adapt them to the particular properties of the tissue. The reported adhesive compositions can tune and improve cohesive and adhesive properties of PEG–catechol-based tissue glues for load-bearing surgery applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: tissue glues; reinforced hydrogels; bioinspired adhesives; catechol-functionalized polymers; nanocomposite tissue glues; reinforced hydrogels; bioinspired adhesives; catechol-functionalized polymers; nanocomposite

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Feng, J.; Ton, X.-A.; Zhao, S.; Paez, J.I.; del Campo, A. Mechanically Reinforced Catechol-Containing Hydrogels with Improved Tissue Gluing Performance. Biomimetics 2017, 2, 23.

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