Medical Devices

Stem Cell Engineering
August 26, 2007
August 26, 2007

Medical Devices

In collaboration with Alex Slocum and Erik Bassett at MIT, we have developed a new needle sensing device that can detect travel of needles through various tissues. This can be used to significantly reduce complications associated with placement of needles, wires and catheters.

We are developing degradable therapeutic shape change materials – stay tuned as data becomes available.

There is a significant medical need for tough, biodegradable polymer adhesives for closing and sealing wounds or incisions that can accommodate various mechanical deformations while remaining strongly attached to the underlying tissue. These materials would be particularly useful as replacement or support for sutures that are sometimes difficult to manipulate during laparoscopic or microscopic procedures, and/ or could be used as patches to aid in hemostasis to improve the visibility of the operative field, or as drug delivery patches for internal use. The potential advantages of using these materials include reduction in operating time and tissue handling, as well as mitigation of surgical complications such as infection. Although numerous tissue adhesives exist, presently none of them can withstand high tensile strength or can be rapidly applied in a tape or sheet format that matches the compliance of underlying tissue with a programmable rate of degradation.


To address this problem, we have taken inspiration from how geckos can climb vertical surfaces and incorporated aspects of Gecko-adhesion into a novel biodegradable and biocompatible elastomeric material that we co-developed with Robert Langer at MIT. We have demonstrated a proof of concept against tissue in vitro and in vivo and are now fine tuning the system for rapid translation to the clinic to help millions of patients.

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