Surgical sealant from Harvard is a double-layered hydrogel that effectively binds biological tissue without causing lasting damage.


  • Biocompatible
  • Waterproof


  • Medical treatment
  • Medical implants

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing

The Challenge

After surgeries and other medical procedures, broken skin is patched back together to assist in healing. Typically, the skin is sewn with stitches or stapled in place. Both of these methods can damage skin, leading to scarring and infection.

Innovation Details

The surgical sealant is a double-layered hydrogel. The first layer is an adhesive surface with positively-charged polymers protruding from its surface. The adhesive bonds to the substrate through electrostatic interactions, covalent bonds, and physical interpenetration. The second layer is a stretchable, strong hydrogel, alginate-polyacrylamide. The combination of these two layers results in an impermeable, long-lasting adhesive that is effective in many surgical applications.