Rheology effects on tissue adhesion

Project summary

Biological adhesion is a complex factor in the body, and is different for every patient. Surgeons must often carefully pull apart tissues to remove diseased areas and replace failing parts. For example, the adhesion of scar tissue to cartilage and other cells often creates problems in the body even as it facilitates healing. Gentler therapies are needed, such as injected fluids that separate tissues but do not allow excessive force to be applied. Such next-generation materials could protect patients against variability in treatment efficacy.

Project objectives

  • Develop microfluidic devices to mimic tissues that adhere, such as healing skin, and use fluid stresses to measure force of separation
  • Evaluate complex fluid therapies and commercial surgical fluids to understand performance and structural connections
  • Create new formulations that enhance surgeons’ ability to safely repair and enhance patient’s tissues