Tissue regeneration following an injury is crucial for restoring biologically accurate architecture and function. The traditional methods of wound treatment include sutures, staples, or tissue grafts to close the wound and allow the affected region to repair. However, these standards are met with several limitations that have caused problems in surgical procedures for decades. For example, tissue closure by mechanical means doesn’t expedite hemostasis, which can further complicate wound healing and affect physiological recovery. In addition, these harsh methods can cause new tissue trauma, instigate bacterial infection, or simply be ineffective in sealing air/fluid leaks. Tissue and organ grafts can also be incredibly complicate, prone to infection, or lacking in availability. Biomaterials have therefore been investigated and infused into biological treatments in order to alleviate these issues. Hydrogels have shown significant potential to act as biocompatible scaffolds for tissue regeneration with their 3D, porous matrix and tunable mechanophyscial properties that can adapt to any tissue microenvironment. With their integrated multifunctionality, hydrogels can be quickly and easily applied as sealants that promote tissue regeneration in a broad range of surgical procedures. As an example of their multifaceted nature, hydrogels can retain strong interfacial adhesion and retention onto bloody or uneven wounds. They can also mimic native tissue conductivity, thus permitting cell-cell communication and repair. Hydrogels with antibacterial abilities can also provide a safety blanket for a healing injury. Furthermore, hydrogels can biodegrade into biocompatible byproducts, which facilitates surgical procedures by eliminating the need for the explantation of a sealant/device from an internal organ site. Here in the Annabi lab, we have engineered highly elastic, biocompatible, biodegradable, and multifunctional tissue adhesives based on various extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. These materials can be altered for a variety of applications including glues for anastomosis, air-tight lung sealants, nerve glue, adhesives for musculoskeletal tissue repair and dental applications, sprayable adhesives for wound healing, adhesive cardiopatches, and bioadhesives for cornea sealing and repair. These novel bioadhesives have displayed their excellence against a variety of commercial glues in cellular and animal studies, thus exemplifying their potential for clinical translation and justifying a paradigm shift in surgical sealants that can ultimately enable sutureless procedures.

Lab members working in this area: Saumya Jain, Yuting Zheng

Related Papers:

  • Shirzaei Sani, A. Kheirkhah, D. Rana, Z. Sun, W. Foulsham, A. Sheikhi, A. Khademhosseini, R. Dana, N. Annabi, Sutureless repair of corneal injuries using naturally derived bioadhesive hydrogels, Science Advances, 2019, 5, eaav1281, DOI:10.1126/sciadv.aav1281.
  • E. Shirzaei Sani, R. Portillo-Lara, I. Noshadi, W. Yu, B. M. Geilich, A. Spencer, T. J. Webster, and N. Annabi, “Engineering adhesive hyaluronic acid/elastin like polypeptide hybrid hydrogels for tissue engineering applications”, ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, 2018, DOI: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.8b00408.
  • J. R. Soucy, E. Shirzaei Sani, R. Portillo Lara, D. Diaz Vera, F. Dias, A. S. Weiss, A. N. Koppes, R. A. Koppes, N. Annabi, “Photocrosslinkable Gelatin/Tropoelastin Adhesives for Peripheral Nerve Repair”, Tissue Engineering, Part A, 2018, DOI: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2017.0502
  • N. Annabi, Y. Zhang, A. Assmann, E. Shirzaei, G. Cheng, A.D. Lassaletta, A. Vegh, B. Dehghani, G. U. Ruiz-Esparza, X. Wang, S. Gangadharan, A.S. Weiss, A. Khademhosseini, “Engineering a highly elastic human protein-based sealant for surgical applications”, Science Translational Medicine, 2017, 9, 410.
  • N. Annabi, D. Rana, E. Shirzaei Sani, R. Portillo-Lara, J. L. Gifford, M. M. Fares, S.M. Mithieux, A.S. Weiss, “Engineering a sprayable and elastic hydrogel adhesive with antimicrobial properties for wound healing”, Biomaterials, 2017, 139, 229-243.
  • A. Assmann, A. Vegh, M. Ghasemi-Rad, S. Bagherifard, G. Cheng, E. Shirzaei Sani, G.U. RuizEsparza, I. Noshadi, A. Lassaletta, S. Gangadharan, A. Tamayol, A. Khademhosseini, N. Annabi, “A highly adhesive and naturally derived sealant”, Biomaterials, 2017, 140, 115-127.