Comparison of mechanical compressive properties of commercial and autologous fibrin glues for tissue engineering applications

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Abstract

Background:

Fibrin glues are widely used in orthopedic surgery as adhesives and hemostatic agents. We evaluated the compressive properties of selected fibrin glues in order to identify which are appropriate for tissue regeneration applications subject to compression.

Methods:

Uniaxial unconfined compression tests were performed on fibrin gels prepared from commercial and autologous products: (1) Evicel (Ethicon), (2) Tisseel (Baxter), (3) Angel (Arthrex), and (4) ProPlaz (Biorich). Cyclic loads were applied from 0 to 30% strain for 100 cycles at 0.5 Hz. Following cyclic testing, specimens were subjected to ramp displacement of 1% strain per second to 80% strain.

Findings:

Throughout cyclic loading, Evicel and Tisseel deformed (shortened) less than Angel at all but one time point, and deformed less than ProPlaz at cycles 10 and 20. The dynamic moduli, peak stress, and strain energy were significantly greater in Tisseel than all other groups. Evicel displayed significantly greater dynamic moduli, peak stress, and strain energy than Angel and ProPlaz. Following cyclic testing, Tisseel and Evicel were significantly less deformed than Angel. No specimens exhibited gross failure during ramp loading to 80% strain. Ramp loading trends mirrored those of cyclic loading.

Interpretation:

The tested commercial glues were significantly more resistant to compression than the autologous products. The compressive properties of Tisseel were approximately twice those of Evicel. All preparations displayed moduli multiple orders of magnitude less than that of native articular cartilage. We conclude that in knee surgeries requiring fibrin glue to undergo compression of daily activity, commercial products are preferable to autologous preparations from platelet-poor plasma, though both will deform significantly.

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