Everything I need to know about biodegradable glue


Everything I need to know about biodegradable glue


Posted 16 August 2011, by Sapna Bist, EcoFriend (Instamedia), ecofriend.com


Glues are made of chemicals and do not degrade over span of years. About more than 10 years back environmentalists started looking for environmental solution for protecting the earth from becoming a Land Fill. This led to evolution of the need of biodegrading or convert the waste from our home to form compost. This was the time when the idea of biodegradable glue evolved.


Biodegradable glue is synthetically formed glue, made from biological monomers (example sugars). The glue made from such substance has the features of biological tissue. Like biological tissue, this glue has the characteristics of decomposing. It can decompose to form water, methane, carbon dioxide, bio mass, or inorganic compounds. There are several substances that are used to make biodegradable glue, but of these the carbohydrates (starch) and proteins (gelatin) are used the most. But these two have been replaced by other synthetic options as they were not found to be adequate.


1. Adhesive bandages to be replaced by eco-friendly, bio-degradable liquid: Though adhesive bandages are life-saving when someone is injured, they are non-biodegradable and deleterious for the environment. They are medical wastes that are contributing to the land fill. But now the environmentalists can relax as a biodegradable liquid has been invented by Hong Kong University researchers and Massachusetts Institute of Technology which serves the purpose of an adhesive bandage. Till date they have tested the liquid on rodents with exceptional results; the liquid stops the blood within seconds. The substance used for making this liquid is peptides (protein fragments). When applied to the wound, the peptides convert to a gel. This gel seals the wound and bleeding stops.

2. Strongest biodegradable glue from bacteria: Strongest glue known to human kind has been discovered by scientists together with an Indiana University biologist. This glue is the glue that assists a bacteria Caulobacter crescentus to stick and hang on to water pipes. This glue is so powerful that it can resist around five tons per square inch of force. This is equal to the force applied by three to four cars together.

This adhesive will be a breakthrough in the field of surgery and will replace staples and sutures and thus will give our environment huge relief from surgical wastes. Apart from this, the good news is that it is biodegradable glue and thus is environment friendly.

3. Low cost Bio degradable glue from fungus: Surgeons use a thread to stitch wounds during surgery. Glue named chitosan has been discovered by the Czech scientists which can be a substitute to the thread used for stitching wounds during surgeries. This glue will act similarly like the threads, but it has one more advantage that there will be no need of cutting the stitches post surgery. This glue is biodegradable, and will simply decompose in the body, and will leave no side effects. This glue can be produced from crustaceans. But producing glue from crustaceans is very expensive so to sort out this issue the Czech scientist found a fungus which can be used to produce this glue. This fungus is found in some used waste material. This source thus reduces the cost of production of the glue.

The benefits

Nature has a solution for every problem. That is the reason when people tried to discover they found several products that can be used to make biodegradable glue. The benefit of using these natural products is that they get decomposed and do not harm the nature and environment. We have seen that using what nature offers, we can make the strongest of the glues which is biodegradable. The natural biodegradable glue is also less in cost as compared. When biodegradable adhesives will be produced they will be complemented by the production of biodegradable plastic products, thus reducing pollution. We can get envelope adhesives, biomedical devices and packaging glue which will be nature friendly.

The lowdown

There is less awareness about biodegradable glue. The glue mentioned above which are being derived from nature are under inspection and study. The process of manufacturing these glue is complicated also.

The impact

Bio degradable glue availability in the market will be a step towards fulfillment of the dream of a green world. Packing would be done without the worry of harming the environment by causing pollution. Biodegradable glue will lead to reduction in use of plastic thus will save the environment. Extensive use of biodegradable glue in medicine will ensure fast recovery and healing of wounds. It would be a real dream come true when our wounds will not be stitched but glued.



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