Bioadhesives — natural substances that act as adhesives — have applications in key industries, and product innovation in this field is addressing unmet needs, according to a new report by Frost & Sullivan.

The research firm said that animal glues and starch- and gum-based bioadhesives have found uses in key sectors, fulfilling the requirement for biocompatibility, eco-friendliness and adhesion.

"Bioadhesives have increasingly filled gaps that have developed due to the absence of natural substances suitable for the healthcare, personal care, and pulp and paper industries," explained Technical Insights research analyst Sanchari Chatterjee. "Advanced adhesive functionalities for drug delivery systems as well as bio-compatibility and tissue friendliness for wound closure applications have spurred use of bioadhesives. Another major business accelerator of the bioadhesive market is the global inclination towards bio-based materials and reduced use of synthetic adhesives."

One major drawback of bioadhesives is that, while they generally work as well as synthetic adhesives, they often have a limited shelf life. In healthcare in particular, there is a need for products that last longer in internal tissues. Research projects must focus on blending polymers to derive the most capable products, Frost & Sullivan noted.

"Lack of skilled resources is another challenge as integration of materials and bio-sciences and the invention of new polymeric products creates a disproportionate base of knowledgeable personnel," Chatterjee added.

"Establishing training facilities will be key for greater product development at the laboratory scale and commercialization at a global scale," she concluded.