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Boston U researchers create sustainable adhesive that is biodegradable and made of natural components

Boston University researchers have created an alternative adhesive formula that is biodegradable and easily adapts to suit a wide range of industrial and medical applications that benefit from sticky materials, the university reports
BMES member Mark Grinstaff and his team of researchers set out to design an adhesive with sticking power would also naturally break down after use, according to the article.

“We are replacing current materials that are not degradable with something better for the environment while still maintaining the properties we expect from a performance standpoint,” Grinstaff said in the article. Grinstaff is a BU College of Engineering Distinguished Professor of Translational Research, a College of Arts & Sciences professor of chemistry, and director of the Grinstaff Group. 

Grinstaff's team recently published their findings in Nature Communication. The team says the adhesive's formula easily adapts to suit a wide range of industrial and medical applications that benefit from sticky materials.

According to the abstract: With single use plastics comprising almost half of yearly plastic production, it is essential that the design, synthesis, and decomposition products of future materials, including polymer adhesives, are within the context of a healthy ecosystem along with comparable or superior performance to conventional materials. The team created a series of sustainable polymeric adhesives, with an eco-design, that perform in both dry and wet environments. This polymeric adhesive system, composed of environmentally benign building blocks, implements carbon dioxide sequestration techniques, poses minimal environmental hazards, exhibits varied peel strengths from scotch tape to hot-melt wood-glue, and adheres to metal, glass, wood, and Teflon® surfaces.

Read the BU article HERE.

Read the Nature paper HERE.