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January 1967

N-Alkyl-a-Cyanoacrylate Monomers in Surgery: Speed of Polymerization and Method of Their Application

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Surgery, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC. Drs. Pani and Leonard are with the US Army Medical Biomechanical Research Laboratory, Washington, DC.

Arch Surg. 1967;94(1):153-156. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1967.01330070155031

THE N-alkyl-α-cyanoacrylate monomers are known for their ability to adhere to moist living tissues. Methyl-α-cyanoacrylate, in particular, has been used since 1960 by many investigators as a tissue adhesive for nonsuture of wounds, although this monomer was shown to be histotoxic.1-9 Work with the higher homologues of the N-alkyl-α-cyanoacrylates has indicated, however, that as one proceeds up the homologous series, histotoxicity decreases. It has been reported that the higher homologues wet, spread, and instantaneously polymerize on tissue substrates and are thereby more effective than the lower homologues in inducing hemostasis.10,11

In surgical applications, where it is required to bond two surfaces together, as in preparing an anastomosis or in adhering cut surfaces of an organ, instantaneous polymerization, however, is a disadvantage. In these instances, one requires sufficient working time to approximate the surfaces before adhesion is permitted to take place.

During the course of an investigation

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