Patent of the Month October
In autumn mussel season starts traditionally. However, the seafood is far more than being only tasty – it also inspired the development of a new compound that could revolutionize medicine. Within the Excellence Cluster UniCat, Prof. Dr. Nediljko Budisa's Biocatalysis Working Group has developed a biogenic superglue for regenerative medicine from mussel proteins. Their European patent application EP3381932 A1 , filed in 2017 and headed "Modified mussel proteins, uses thereof and related compounds" – is our patent of the month October!
Blue mussels possess a very strong adhesive protein to withstand salt water and strong tidal currents of the waves in the continental shelf. By means of this adhesive they attach their feet to the seabed. It works on almost all surfaces, even in humid environments. In the near future, the superglue shall come to use for injuries to skin, tissue, bones and even teeth.
The research group of Prof. Budisa of the TU Berlin used the adhesive protein as a basic material for their research. They developed a biotechnological process to produce a modified mussel protein by gut bacteria of the genus Escherichia coli.
The new protein type was changed to the effect that the adhesive function is to be activated only by irradiation with light - the only way to carry out a precise in situ use.
The new biomedical material is biodegradable, does not has to be removed effortfully -like in the case of fractures with classical implants- is environmentally friendly and has the potential to "revolutionize bone surgery and wound healing". Thereof the scientists of the Budisa research group are convinced and want to spin-off on their idea. However, a large number of clinical studies are still required before the product can be brought to market.
The Patent Information Center (PNZ) Aachen wishes long-lasting success!
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