June 16, 2024
Medical implants

MIT Engineers Develop Hydrogel Adhesive to Prevent Scarring around Medical Implants, Extend Their Lifespan

Medical implants, such as pacemakers, often trigger an immune response in the body, resulting in the formation of scar tissue around the device. This scarring, known as fibrosis, can hinder the implant’s functionality and may necessitate its removal.

MIT researchers have made a significant breakthrough in preventing fibrosis around Medical Implants by coating them with a hydrogel adhesive. This innovative adhesive binds the devices to the tissue, thereby shielding them from the immune system’s attack.

Xuanhe Zhao, the MIT professor of mechanical engineering and civil and environmental engineering, describes this development as an ‘invisibility cloak’ for medical devices. He explains, “The dream is to implant something into the body that, over the long term, the body will not see. The device can provide therapeutic or diagnostic functionality.”

The researchers employed a hydrogel adhesive, similar to a surgical tape they previously developed for sealing internal wounds, to achieve this result. They discovered that various types of hydrogel adhesives can prevent fibrosis, and they believe this method could be applied not only to pacemakers but also to sensors and devices that deliver drugs or therapeutic cells.

Zhao and Hyunwoo Yuk, a former MIT research scientist now serving as the chief technology officer at SanaHeal, are the study’s senior authors. MIT postdoc Jingjing Wu authored the paper. The researchers’ findings were published in the journal Nature.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research.
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