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EPFL | New hydrogel can repair tears in human tissue

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An injectable gel that can attach to various kinds of soft internal tissues 


EPFL scientists have developed an injectable gel that can attach to various kinds of soft internal tissues and repair tears resulting from an accident or trauma. 

Our soft tissues can be torn during different kind of accidents. And surgeons can have a hard time binding the tissue back together, as stitches often do more harm than good. According to Dominique Pioletti, the head of the Laboratory of Biomechanical Orthopedics at EPFL’s School of Engineering, such surgeries don’t always produce optimal outcomes because the repaired tissue usually doesn’t heal properly. This tends to be the case for tears in cartilage and the cornea, for instance.

Researchers around the world have been trying for years to develop an adhesive for soft tissue that can withstand the natural stresses and strains within the human body. Pioletti’s group has now come up with a novel family of injectable biomaterials that can bind to various forms of soft tissue. Their bioadhesives, in the form of a gel, can be used in a variety of injury-treatment applications. Their research has just been published in Macromolecular Rapid Communications.

The scientists have just received an Innosuisse grant to study potential orthopedic applications in association with surgeons at the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV). They hope to be able to launch their hydrogel on the market within the next five years.

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