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Engineering >> 2023, Volume 31, Issue 12 doi: 10.1016/j.eng.2023.07.013

Engineering Protein Coacervates into a Robust Adhesive for Real-Time Skin Healing

a State Key Laboratory of Rare Earth Resource Utilization, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130022, China
b School of Applied Chemistry and Engineering, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
c Engineering Research Center of Advanced Rare Earth Materials, Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
d Department of Orthopedics, Tongren Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200336, China
e Xiangfu Laboratory, Jiaxing, Zhejiang 314102, China

Received: 2022-10-19 Revised: 2023-05-30 Accepted: 2023-07-10 Available online: 2023-09-10

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Adhesives have attracted a great deal of attention as an advanced modality in biomedical engineering because of their unique wound management behavior. However, it is a grand challenge for current adhesive systems to achieve robust adhesion due to their tenuous interfacial bonding strength. Moreover, the absence of dynamic adaptability in conventional chemical adhesives restricts neoblasts around the wound from migrating to the site, resulting in an inferior tissue-regeneration effect. Herein, an extracellular matrix-derived biocomposite adhesive with robust adhesion and a real-time skin healing effect is well-engineered. Liquid–liquid phase separation is well-harnessed to drive the assembly of the biocomposite adhesive, with the active involvement of supramolecular interactions between chimeric protein and natural DNA, leading to a robustly reinforced adhesion performance. The bioadhesive exhibits outstanding adhesion and sealing behaviors, with a sheared adhesion strength of approximately 18 MPa, outperforming its reported counterparts.     Moreover, the engineered bioderived components endow this adhesive material with biocompatibility and exceptional biological functions including the promotion of cell proliferation and migration, such that the use of this material eventually yields real-time in situ skin regeneration. This work opens up novel avenues for functionalized bioadhesive engineering and biomedical translations.

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