MUSC-tested sealant gel a breakthrough in surgical glues

A sealant gel, tested at MUSC, has been found to be a rapid, safe and effective method to stop hemorrhage and seal bleeding surfaces.

Sergio Finkielsztein, president of Marine Polymer Technologies (MPT), a Massachusetts-based company, has announced its development of the new single-component gel, which is considered a breakthrough in the field of surgical glues in that it combines a series of properties not available in the market place to date. The MPT gel consists of a polysaccharide biomaterial that is biodegradable and biocompatible and can be delivered endoscopically.

Principal investigator in the research project to develop the sealant gel is John N. Vournakis, Ph.D., of MUSC's Center for Molecular and Structural Biology.

The MPT sealant gel was tested in a variceal bleeding model at the MUSC Digestive Disease Center by Daniel Kulling, M.D., under the direction of Robert H. Hawes, M.D. The effects of the MPT sealant gel were assessed by endoscopy, catheter probe endosonography and histopathology at one, seven, 21 and 90 days.

The experimental results were presented at the World Congresses of Gastroenterology last week, where it received a gold medal. The World Congresses of Gastroenterology, held every four years, highlights and summarizes international accomplishments in the field of gastroenterology and attracts experts from all over the world. Experimental results also were presented as a Poster of Distinction at the American Society of Gastroenterology Annual Meeting in New Orleans and will be fully reported as a journal article in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

The MPT gel is expected to compete in the emerging field of surgical glues and sealants, currently a $350 million market in Europe and Japan. Surgical glues and sealants are expected to significantly take over the current uses of sutures and staples during the next 10 years. Currently the sutures and staples market is more than $2.5 billion worldwide.

“The MPT sealant gel is a product with tremendous long-term opportunity and potential because of its safety profile, ease of use and application and effectiveness in closing surgical wounds," Finkielsztein said. "Effective closure of surgical wounds is critical to the restoration of the integrity and function of wounded tissues.”

The use of MPT gel for variceal bleeding is particularly significant because variceal bleeding occurs in a high number of patients with liver cirrhosis and is associated with a mortality rate of up to 40 percent. None of the current therapeutic options for endoscopic treatment of hemorrhage from esophageal and particularly gastric varices combine a high success rate with ease of performance and safety.

The Digestive Disease Center, under the direction of Peter Cotton, M.D., is designed to integrate gastrointestinal medicine, surgery and radiology to promote patient care, research and technology development to treat patients with digestive diseases.

Marine Polymer Technologies develops and commercializes proprietary technologies for the control of hemorrhage resulting from anticoagulation therapy, trauma or surgery. MPT's SyvekPatch is FDA-approved for the rapid control of bleeding for patients in hemodialysis and anticoagulation therapy.

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