Sealing holes in soft, flexible tissues such as the heart has proved a challenge to medical technologists. But recent advances in adhesives technology may prove to be the answer.
The biocompatible, light-curing adhesive that could solve the problem has existed for some time, but the means of applying it safely to human patients is a newer development. A team of researchers including specialists from the Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and Harvard’s School for Engineering and Applied Sciences SEAS have found a way to apply adhesive patches with a minimally invasive procedure.
The instrument consists of a catheter with a double balloon and a fiber optic UV system. The balloons are used to apply the necessary pressure to the adhesive and the fiber optic lighting is used to activate and cure the adhesive.
At time of writing, only animal trials have been conducted, but the adhesive and the new apparatus will certainly be investigated further with the help of adhesives company Gecko Biomedical.