In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists report that a compound found in sunless tanning spray may help to heal surgical wounds. They have developed a sticky gel composed of polyethylene glycol and a polycarbonate of dihydroxyacetone (MPEG-pDHA) that may help to seal wounds created by surgery, and could potentially be used in all different reconstructive surgeries to prevent seroma formation.
“Making a polymer from DHA has eluded chemical engineers for about 20 years,” says Dr. Putnam.
Now in gel form, the compound has the ability to stick tissues together, preventing the pocket from filling with seroma fluid, like an internal Band-Aid, explains Dr. Putnam. The researchers found that the gel prevented or significantly lowered seroma formation or fluid buildup in rats that had breast tissue removed.
In contrast to currently available “bio-glues” made from animal products, the DHA-based bio-glue is biobiodegradable and water soluble, and is eventually broken down, or metabolized, and then safely removed by the body.