The naturally derived and biodegradable materials are also completely safe to use on or in the human body. (Credit: Boston University)

An alternative adhesive has been developed that adapts to suit a wide range of industrial and medical applications that benefit from sticky materials. The key ingredient is carbon dioxide. About 20–40 percent of the biodegradable adhesive, which has the consistency of honey or molasses, is composed of CO2. It adhesive takes a year or less to fully break down in the environment.

The team envisions the biodegradable adhesive solution could be tailored to fit the many needs of today's plastic adhesives. By adjusting the ratio of polymers and CO2 in each batch of adhesives, they are able to make the material's adhesion stronger, weaker, or able to respond to certain kinds of surfaces.

The naturally derived and biodegradable materials are also completely safe to use on or in the human body. The adhesives could potentially replace metal used in surgeries to hold bone together, making some surgical procedures less invasive. They could also be used on the surface of skin to protect cuts, scrapes, wounds, or post-surgical incisions.

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Medical Design Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the February, 2020 issue of Medical Design Briefs Magazine.

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