News Article

ACatechol receives NIH funding for suture replacement technology
Source: Company Press Release ( click here to go to the source)

Featured firm in this article: ACatechol Inc of Pasadena, CA

ACatechol's wet bonding project has received NIH funding to replace/aid suture to avoid painful and catastrophic revision surgery such as tendon-to-bone repair.

More than half of the elderly population suffers from shoulder dysfunction and pain caused by rotator cuff injury, typically a tear of one or more of the rotator cuff tendons. Surgical repair of the rotator cuff is one of the most common orthopedic surgical procedures, with over 250,000 repairs performed each year in the United States.

The goal of surgical repair is to create a strong and tough attachment between the ruptured tendon and bone in order to recover shoulder function. Unfortunately, the healthy attachment system is not recreated with current suture-based surgical techniques and is not regenerated during healing, leading to high failure rates post-operatively. These failures are primarily due to the repair techniques used to secure tendon to bone; instead of distributing muscle loads across a wide attachment footprint area, as in the healthy attachment, surgical repairs concentrate stress on a small number of suture anchor points.

These stress concentrations lead to pull out of the suture from the tendon, motivating the development of technologies that distribute stresses away from suture anchors and across the attachment footprint. Motivated by this clinical problem, we implemented models and proof-of-concept experiments demonstrating that mechanically-optimized adhesive films can better distribute loads across the interface between tendon and bone and dramatically increase the load tolerance of a tendon-to-bone repair. In the current project, we advance this prior theoretical and proof-of-concept work to develop a biologically relevant adhesive for enhanced rotator cuff repair.

The overall objective is to improve tendon-to-bone surgical repair outcomes through adhesive biomaterial approaches. We take a bioinspired approach to achieve this goal: adhesives are modeled after marine organism adhesion biochemistry. Specifically, mussel-inspired catechol-derived adhesives are tested using in vitro and in vivo
models. Catechol-derived adhesives increase the initial repair strength and toughness and allow for improved tendon-to-bone healing.