Cellulose fibres enhance the function of hemostatic composite medical sealants

Efrat Gilboa, Inbar Eshkol-Yogev, Shir Giladi, Meital Zilberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tissue adhesives and sealants offer promising alternatives to traditional wound closure methods, but the existing trade-off between biocompatibility and strength is still a challenge. The current study explores the potential of a gelatin-alginate-based hydrogel, cross-linked with a carbodiimide, and loaded with two functional fillers, the hemostatic agent kaolin and cellulose fibres, to improve the hydrogel’s mechanical strength and hemostatic properties for use as a sealant. The effect of the formulation parameters on the mechanical and physical properties was studied, as well as the biocompatibility and microstructure. The incorporation of the two functional fillers resulted in a dual micro-composite structure, with uniform dispersion of both fillers within the hydrogel, and excellent adhesion between the fillers and the hydrogel matrix. This enabled to strongly increase the sealing ability and the tensile strength and modulus of the hydrogel. The fibres’ contribution to the enhanced mechanical properties is more dominant than that of kaolin. A combined synergistic effect of both fillers resulted in enhanced sealing ability (247%), tensile strength (400%), and Young’s modulus (437%), compared to the unloaded hydrogel formulation. While the incorporation of kaolin almost did not affect the physical properties of the hydrogel, the incorporation of the fibres strongly increased the viscosity and decreased the gelation time and swelling degree. The cytotoxicity tests indicated that all studied formulations exhibited high cell viability. Hence, the studied new dual micro-composite hydrogels may be suitable for medical sealing applications, especially when it is needed to get a high sealing effect within a short time. The desired hemostatic effect is obtained due to kaolin incorporation without affecting the physical properties of the sealant. Understanding the effects of the formulation parameters on the hydrogel’s properties enables the fitting of optimal formulations for various medical sealing applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-95
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biomaterials Applications
Issue number2
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Hydrogels
  • cellulose fibres
  • composite bioadhesives
  • kaolin
  • medical sealants

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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