In vitro toxicity test of ethyl 2-cyanoacrylate, a tissue adhesive used in cardiovascular surgery, by fibroblast cell culture method

Heart Surg Forum. 2005;8(3):E169-72. doi: 10.1532/HSF98.20041126.


Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the cytotoxicity of cyanoacrylate polymers (ethyl 2-cyanoacrylate) by an elution test system. In such systems, the material is extracted with a cell culture medium, which is subsequently added onto cultured cells, resulting in an indirect contact between the biomaterial and cells.

Methods: A cell line commonly utilized for cytotoxicity experiments; L929 mouse fibroblasts were used in this study. The effects of extract dilutions on cells were evaluated by two experiments: (a) The cells were suspended and seeded in a medium containing the extract, followed by a short incubation to observe the effects on cell attachment; (b) cells were seeded in a normal medium. Following cell attachment, this was replaced with a medium containing the extract and long-term effects on cell proliferation were measured. The cytotoxicity was quantified using a cell viability assay, well established for use in the evaluation of cell-biomaterial interactions.

Results: These results indicate that, in the test system utilized, a tenfold dilution of the extract results in an approximately 10% decrease in cells; this increases to between 30% and 45% in a 1:1 dilution. When a large number of cells (3000/well) were used, proliferation of cells overcame the cytotoxic effect and consistent results could not be observed.

Conclusions: In this study, the observed outcomes follow a similar trend on cell attachment and proliferation with acute effects (4 hours incubation) of the extracts on the cells, producing slightly higher toxicity. Our findings are parallel with the literature findings.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Surgical Procedures
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Culture Media / chemistry
  • Cyanoacrylates / administration & dosage
  • Cyanoacrylates / analysis
  • Cyanoacrylates / therapeutic use
  • Cyanoacrylates / toxicity*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Tissue Adhesives / administration & dosage
  • Tissue Adhesives / therapeutic use
  • Tissue Adhesives / toxicity*
  • Toxicity Tests* / methods


  • Culture Media
  • Cyanoacrylates
  • Tissue Adhesives
  • ethyl 2-cyanoacrylate