Gelatin-based biomimetic tissue adhesive. Potential for retinal reattachment

J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2006 May;77(2):416-22. doi: 10.1002/jbm.b.30439.


An adhesive that cures under moist/wet conditions could facilitate surgical procedures for retinal reattachment. We are investigating an adhesive that mimics the factor XIIIa-mediated crosslinking of fibrin that occurs in the late stages of the blood coagulation cascade. Specifically, we use gelatin as the structural protein (in place of fibrin), and crosslink gelatin using a calcium-independent microbial transglutaminase (in place of the calcium-dependent transglutaminase factor XIIIa). Injection of gelatin and microbial transglutaminase (mTG) into the vitreous cavity of Sprague Dawley white rats did not elicit structural or cellular damage to the retina as evidenced from histological evaluation 2 weeks post-injection. Qualitative in vitro studies indicate that the gelatin-mTG adhesive binds to bovine retinal tissue under wet conditions. Quantitative lap-shear tests were performed with more robust bovine tissue from the choroid and sclera. The lap-shear strength of the biomimetic gelatin-mTG adhesive was independent of tissue-type and ranged from 15 to 45 kPa, which is comparable to the values reported for other soft-tissue adhesives. These studies suggest that the mTG-crosslinked gelatin may provide a simple, safe, and effective adhesive for ophthalmic applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adhesiveness
  • Animals
  • Biomimetic Materials
  • Cattle
  • Factor XIIIa / administration & dosage
  • Factor XIIIa / metabolism
  • Gelatin / administration & dosage*
  • Gelatin / chemical synthesis
  • Injections
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Retina
  • Retinal Detachment / therapy*
  • Shear Strength
  • Tissue Adhesives / chemistry*


  • Tissue Adhesives
  • Gelatin
  • Factor XIIIa