Conjugations of catechol or gallol to biocompatible polymers to create a new adhesive compound with applications for medical therapies. At InnoTherapy, we call them Bio-Inspired Medical Materials (BiMM).
At InnoTherapy our technological platform originates from nature. The focus of our research and product development is based on adhesive materials found in nature. Because over 70% of human body weight is composed of water, the ability to adhere in an aqueous environment is an essential property of medical adhesives. At InnoTherapy, we began by researching the compounds and molecules used by aquatic organisms to adhere to a variety of surfaces under a broad range of conditions. By applying these findings, we have developed medical devices with outstanding adhesive and sealant abilities.
Previous research has shown that polyphenol molecules such as catechol and catecholamine are essential compounds used by biological organisms for aquatic adhesion. 1) 2) 3) InnoTherapy has conducted basic and applied research on these molecules to develop a series of adhesive polymeric biomaterials through the binding of catechol or catecholamine to various biocompatible polymers.
In addition to catechol and catecholamine, the property of aquatic adhesion has been exhibited in a compound called gallol and gallolamine. Gallol is mainly found in plants and is responsible for their astringent taste. The properties of the adhesion are intimately related, as the gallol-containing substances adhere to oral mucosa. Using this capability, gallol and gallolamine can be applied as a drug-delivery device by adhering to the mucosa of the oral cavity or digestive system.
A common, representative characteristic of the materials in InnoTherapy’s BiMM library is that they form robust complexes by binding with proteins in body fluid. Based on this characteristic, innovative medical devices can be created.
Hemostatic agents have been prepared based on the property of binding with plasma proteins in the blood. This is particularly useful in alternative hemostatic therapies for patients on anticoagulant drugs such as aspirin and warfarin due to chronic cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or hemostatic disorders caused by genetic factors. 4)5)
An effective device to prevent mucosal bleeding in digestive organs has been produced based on the ability to bind with mucosal proteins. 6) 7) 8)
A self-sealing, complete hemostasis technology has been developed by coating the BiMM library polymers onto surfaces of syringe needles or other narrow diameter 1D devices. 9)
Nanoparticles have been produced based on their binding qualities with proteins and peptides as drug candidates.10) Such formulations are highly suitable as a method for drug delivery.
The surface of viral vectors used in gene delivery is composed of proteins. Thus, a stabilized formulation for delivering the therapeutic gene to the target organ has a beneficial application to gene therapy.
InnoTherapy has developed a portfolio of Bio-Inspired Medical Materials with valuable applications throughout the healthcare industry.  
Going forward we will continue to leverage our strong foundation in basic and applied bioscience to create even more innovative products to serve the health and medical needs of the global community.


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  2.  Lee H, Lee BP, Messersmith PB. A reversible wet/dry adhesive inspired by mussels and geckos. Nature. 2007;448(7151):338-341. doi:10.1038/nature05968 null
  3.  Lee H, Dellatore SM, Miller WM, Messersmith PB. Mussel-inspired surface chemistry for multifunctional coatings. Science. 2007;318(5849):426-430. doi:10.1126/science.1147241 null
  4. Ryu JH, Lee Y, Kong WH, Kim TG, Park TG, Lee H. Catechol-functionalized chitosan/pluronic hydrogels for tissue adhesives and hemostatic materials. Biomacromolecules. 2011;12(7):2653-2659. doi:10.1021/bm200464x null
  5. Shin M, Ryu JH, Kim K, Kim MJ, Jo S, Lee MS, Lee DY, Lee H. Hemostatic swabs containing polydopamine-like catecholamine chitosan-catechol for normal and coagulopathic animal models. ACS Biomater Sci & Eng. 2018; 4(7):2314-2318. doi:10.1021/acsbiomaterials.8b00451 null
  6. Ryu JH, Choi JS, Park E, Eom MR, Jo S, Lee MS, Kwon SK, Lee H. Chitosan oral patches inspired by mussel adhesion. J Control Release. 2020;317:57-66. doi:10.1016/j.jconrel.2019.11.006 null
  7. Kim K, Shin M, Koh M-Y, Ryu JH, Lee MS, Hong S, Lee H. TAPE: a medical adhesive inspired by a ubiquitous compound in plants. Adv Funct Mater. 2015;25(16):2402-2410. doi: 10.1002/adfm.201500034 null
  8. Kim K, Kim K, Ryu JH, Lee H. Chitosan-catechol: a polymer with long-lasting mucoadhesive properties. Biomaterials. 2015;52:161-170. doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2015.02.010 null
  9. Shin M, Park SG, Oh BC, Kim K, Jo S, Lee MS, Oh SS, Hong S-H, Shin E-C, Kim K-S, Kang S-W, Lee H. Complete prevention of blood loss with self-sealing haemostatic needles. Nat Mater. 2017;16(1):147-152. doi:10.1038/nmat4758 null
  10. Shin M, Lee HA, Lee M, Shin Y, Song J-J, Kang S-W, Nam D-H, Jeon EJ, Cho M, Do MJ, Park SH, Lee MS, Jang J-H, Cho S-W, Kim K-S, Lee H. Targeting protein and peptide therapeutics to the heart via tannic acid modification. Nat Biomed Eng. 2018;2(5):304-317. doi:10.1038/s41551-018-0227-9 null