A moldable nanocomposite hydrogel composed of a Mussel‐inspired polymer and a nanosilicate as a fit‐to‐shape tissue sealant
© WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
Publisher's version of record: https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.201700628
The engineering of bioadhesives to bind and conform to the complex contour of tissue surfaces remains a challenge. We have developed a novel moldable nanocomposite hydrogel by combining dopamine-modified poly(ethylene glycol) and the nanosilicate Laponite, without the use of cytotoxic oxidants. The hydrogel transitioned from a reversibly cross-linked network formed by dopamine–Laponite interfacial interactions to a covalently cross-linked network through the slow autoxidation and cross-linking of catechol moieties. Initially, the hydrogel could be remolded to different shapes, could recover from large strain deformation, and could be injected through a syringe to adhere to the convex contour of a tissue surface. With time, the hydrogel solidified to adopt the new shape and sealed defects on the tissue. This fit-to-shape sealant has potential in sealing tissues with non-flat geometries, such as a sutured anastomosis.