As open surgery has gradually been replaced by minimally invasive and image-guided procedures, tissue adhesives are taking the place of sutures and surgical staples. With countless applications in angioplasty, stent insertion, and biopsies, new surgical glues are highly desired.
Researchers have created a surgical glue that is both adherent and visible in the most common imaging techniques: fluoroscopy, ultrasound, and computed tomography (CT). The nanoparticle-based tissue adhesive features properties that were successfully tested in sealing a liver puncture and in conducting operations moving organs such as the lung and limbs.
The nanoparticles have a shell made of silica (SiO2) and a core of radiopaque tantalum oxide (TaOx). Silica holds the tissue together while TaOx provides contrast enhancement on ultrasound and CT. The TaOx/SiO2 core/shell nanoparticle (TSN) glue was found to be clearly visualized by real-time imaging modalities and exhibits adhesive properties similar to that of cyanoacrylate and Lipiodol (CA-Lp), a mixture of a tissue adhesive and radio-paque oil used in clinical practice.
Beyond adhesive properties, TSN is biocompatible and ensures accurate target localization during movement. The adhesive is well fixed to tissues so that nanoparticles and tissues move in unison.