Degradable Bioadhesives Based on Star PEG–PLA Hydrogels for Soft Tissue Applications

Degradable Bioadhesives Based on Star PEG–PLA Hydrogels for Soft Tissue Applications

Biomacromolecules XX, XX (2022)

Mathilde Grosjean, Edouard Girard, Audrey Bethry, Grégory Chagnon, Xavier Garric, Benjamin Nottelet


Tissue adhesives are interesting materials for wound treatment as they present numerous advantages compared to traditional methods of wound closure such as suturing and stapling. Nowadays, fibrin and cyanoacrylate glues are the most widespread commercial biomedical adhesives, but these systems display some drawbacks. In this study, degradable bioadhesives based on PEG–PLA star-shaped hydrogels are designed. Acrylate, methacrylate, and catechol functional copolymers are synthesized and used to design various bioadhesive hydrogels. Various types of mechanisms responsible for adhesion are investigated (physical entanglement and interlocking, physical interactions, chemical bonds), and the adhesive properties of the different systems are first studied on a gelatin model and compared to fibrin and cyanoacrylate references. Hydrogels based on acrylate and methacrylate reached adhesion strength close to cyanoacrylate (332 kPa) with values of 343 and 293 kPa, respectively, whereas catechol systems displayed higher values (11 and 19 kPa) compared to fibrin glue (7 kPa). Bioadhesives were then tested on mouse skin and human cadaveric colonic tissue. The results on mouse skin confirmed the potential of acrylate and methacrylate gels with adhesion strength close to commercial glues (15–30 kPa), whereas none of the systems led to high levels of adhesion on the colon. These data confirm that we designed a family of degradable bioadhesives with adhesion strength in the range of commercial glues. The low level of cytotoxicity of these materials is also demonstrated and confirm the potential of these hydrogels to be used as surgical adhesives.