In a marine environment, specific proteins are secreted by mussels and used as a bioglue to stick to a surface allowing generate irreversible bonding. Inspired by nature and in particular by the mussel adhesive proteins (MAPs), we intend to develop sealant membranes with superior adhesive properties in physiological environment. These adhesive membranes will be based on marine collagen, together with natural polymers functionalized with catechol groups, in particular hyaluronic acid and chitosan, which have demonstrated adequate properties such as biocompatibility for several biomedical applications, in order to obtain membranes with enhanced tissue adhesive properties and improved cell response. Moreover, the project aims to develop truly multifunctional marine derived bioadhesive membranes by incorporating natural polymers with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory agents extracted from marine organisms’ autochthone from the Azores. Two distinct techniques will be explored for the buildup of these bioadhesive membranes: solvent casting and spin coating. Solvent cast technology is a simple and versatile technique for thin film production and it has been used in 3B’s to obtain thin structures for biomedical applications. Spin coating is also a promising methodology in the biomedical field and will be explored in this project as a useful tool for the production of membranes with a specific structural organization. The envisaged biomaterials will be enriched by the incorporation of bioactive compounds, where the te am from University of Azores has established knowhow, with several biological activities and extracts being reported in the last years. Moreover, the contribution of the team of Prof. Jeffrey M. Karp, from MIT, will give the application driven mindset needed to reach relevant results in such an exploratory project, also benefiting of his strong experience in Natureinspired bioadhesives and hydrogels for medical application.
FCT - Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology
Universidade do Minho
Universidade dos Açores