Shown above is the concept of a highly effective biocompatible adhesive developed by KAIST researchers. Photo courtesy of KAIST

New tech can be applied to hair transplants

A team of researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) announced on Oct. 7 that they had developed medical adhesives applicable to hair transplants.

The team headed by Prof. Seo Myung-eun and Prof. Lee Hae-shin said that they had come up with a bio-friendly adhesive from biocompatible polymers using tannic acid.

The substance is known not to cause any health problem because it is the very source of astringency in wine.

The team expected that the new biocompatible adhesive would be widely used in the not-so-distant future.

Medical adhesives have been used for would healing, hemostasis, vascular anastomosis, and tissue engineering, without having to resort to invasive surgery or organ transplants.

Yet, adhesives with high adhesion and low toxicity have been rare. In case they are capable of decomposing in the body, they would be perfect.

And the KAIST team claimed that they had found the very “perfect” adhesives.

“The research team observed that the material’s mechanical properties can be improved by over a hundred times through a heating and cooling process that is used to heat-treat metals,” KAIST said.

“They also discovered that this is due to the enforced interactions between micelle and tannic acid arrays.”

The research team used the fact that the material shows minimal irritation to the skin and decomposes well in the body to demonstrate its possible application as an adhesive for hair transplantation through an animal experiment, according to the university.

The study was funded by the state-backed National Research Foundation.