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New frontier in biomedical engineering: Protein coacervates engineered into adhesive for unprecedented skin repair speed

New frontier in biomedical engineering: Protein coacervates engineered into adhesive for unprecedented skin repair speed
2023-09-29
(Press-News.org)

A team of researchers from China has made a significant breakthrough in biomedical engineering by developing a novel adhesive that promises to revolutionize wound management and tissue repair. The research, published in Engineering, unveils a biocomposite adhesive that exhibits robust adhesion and real-time skin healing properties.

Adhesives have long been recognized as a valuable tool in biomedical engineering. However, current adhesive systems face challenges in achieving strong and durable adhesion, limiting their effectiveness in wound healing. Additionally, conventional chemical adhesives lack the ability to adapt to dynamic changes in the wound environment, hindering tissue regeneration.

In response to these challenges, the Chinese research team engineered an extracellular matrix (ECM)-derived biocomposite adhesive that overcomes the limitations of existing adhesives. By harnessing liquid–liquid phase separation and leveraging supramolecular interactions between chimeric protein and natural DNA, the researchers achieved a reinforced adhesion performance in the biocomposite adhesive.

The newly developed adhesive demonstrates exceptional adhesion and sealing behaviors, surpassing its reported counterparts with a sheared adhesion strength of approximately 18 MPa. The engineered bioderived components not only enhance adhesion but also promote cell proliferation and migration, enabling real-time in situ skin regeneration.

The research team’s innovative approach involved actively introducing biological components and employing a rational design process to create the adhesive. Liquid–liquid phase separation, driven by electrostatic complexation between a chimeric epidermal growth factor (EGF), elastin-like protein, and natural DNA, facilitated the assembly of the adhesive. The resulting adhesive demonstrated exceptional adhesion on various substrates, including glass, ceramic, aluminum, steel, and soft tissues such as liver, muscle, and porcine skin.

The adhesive’s remarkable adhesion strength of (18.9 ± 0.9) MPa on steel substrates and adhesion energy of (40.0 ± 5.3) J·m−2 on pigskin surpassed many reported adhesives. Furthermore, the adhesive exhibited hemostatic behavior, promoted cell proliferation and migration, remodeled the ECM, and accelerated in situ skin regeneration.

The potential applications of this novel adhesive extend beyond wound healing and tissue repair. The research team believes that the unique fabrication strategy holds great promise in the design of next-generation functionalized bioadhesives for broader applications, including bioelectronics and wearable health systems.

Nan Zhang, editor of the subject of chemical, metallurgical, and materials engineering of Engineering, stated that this work opens up novel avenues for functionalized bioadhesive engineering and biomedical translations. The adhesive, which has been engineered from ECM components, demonstrates biocompatibility and extraordinary biological functions, making it a promising candidate for biomedical adhesion and healing applications.

The paper “Engineering Protein Coacervates into a Robust Adhesive for Real-Time Skin Healing”, authored by Ming Li, Baimei Liu, Wei Xu, Lai Zhao, Zili Wang, Haonan He, Jingjing Li, Fan Wang, Chao Ma, Kai Liu, Hongjie Zhang. Full text of the open access paper: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eng.2023.07.013. For more information about the Engineering, follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/EngineeringJrnl) & like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/EngineeringPortfolio).

 

About Engineering

Engineering (ISSN: 2095-8099 IF:12.8) is an international open-access journal that was launched by the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) in 2015. Its aims are to provide a high-level platform where cutting-edge advancements in engineering R&D, current major research outputs, and key achievements can be disseminated and shared; to report progress in engineering science, discuss hot topics, areas of interest, challenges, and prospects in engineering development, and consider human and environmental well-being and ethics in engineering; to encourage engineering breakthroughs and innovations that are of profound economic and social importance, enabling them to reach advanced international standards and to become a new productive force, and thereby changing the world, benefiting humanity, and creating a better future.

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New frontier in biomedical engineering: Protein coacervates engineered into adhesive for unprecedented skin repair speed

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[Press-News.org] New frontier in biomedical engineering: Protein coacervates engineered into adhesive for unprecedented skin repair speed