Naturally sticky: Biologically-based medical glues dominate

Biologically-based medical glues, cyanoacrylate, or other synthetic. The bulk of global sales of medical glues are biologically-based, (includes fibrin, thrombogen, and others), rather than cyanoacrylate-based or other synthetic glues.

Synthetic glues

Cyanoacrylate-based glues, include those from Ethicon, Adhezion Biomedical, B. Braun, Meyer-Haake, and others. Cyanoacrylate-based glues for medical use are said to be stronger, less irritating to the skin when used externally, and more flexible than the household ‘super glue.’

Topical skin adhesives (TSAs) are used quite commonly for closing small wounds and incisions. There are two basic TSAs: 2-octyl cyanoacrylate (intended to close wounds and surgical incisions, and useful as an antibacterial barrier), and n-butyl cyanoacrylate, which is more flexible than the former, but also not as strong. Dermabond® and SurgiSeal™ are 2-octyl cyanoacrylates (OCA); Histoacryl®, Indermil®, and LiquiBand™ are n-butyl cyanoacrylates (BCA). These glues are intended for topical use only due primarily to toxicity and safety issues.

Other Synthetic Glues

Innovators are developing “other” glues from a variety of synthetic types; these glues have yet to gain more than 4% share globally. Synthetic glues may be derived from polyurethane or other polymers and may be light-activated. As yet, these synthetics have not been able to create anything more than a minor dent in bio-glue sales.

Biologically-based Medical Glues

Manufacturers of biologically-based medical glues have made these glues the most popular, accounting for almost two-thirds of medical glue revenues. However, ongoing developments mean that products are being improved and new products are being invented. These new glues may start to cannibalize from the biologically-based products.

Below is illustrated the growth of biologically-based glues by region, showing that most growth in this segment will be from Asia/Pacific markets, which are consistently demonstrating higher growth than in western markets.

Global Markets for Biologically-Based Medical Glues, 2015-2022, USD MillionsGrowth of Medical Glues by RegionSource: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S290. (Order online)


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