In the US, over 27 million hospital visits include invasive, therapeutic surgeries. However, despite substantial advances in gelatin, fibrin, and cyanoacrylate-based biomaterial adhesives, a robust solution with tissue integration, biomechanical integration, and wet-tissue adhesion remains a significant challenge. Hydrogels and cryogels were formulated to provide better structural integrity and biocompatibility. However due to lower mechanical strength and limited adhesion to wet tissue they have limited use. Hence there is a need for injectable, bioadhesive cryogel. Cryogel consisting of hyaluronic acid methacrylate (HAGM) or methacrylated gelatin (GelMA) with dopamine provides an efficient solution.

Technology Overview

To overcome the challenges, researchers have incorporated naturally-inspired mussel-derived dopamine (DOPA), or polydopamine (PDA) in hydrogels consisting of HAGM and GelMA. DOPA and PDA have shown adhesion to both organic and inorganic surfaces and have been incorporated into a variety of polymers including gelatin and hyaluronic acid. To combat rapid oxidation of DOPA, the amine backbone is functionalized. The functionalized DOPA when conjugated with biopolymers provides increased adhesion to wet tissues. The crosslinking takes place under a subfreezing temperature hence, called a cryogel which can be compressed to more than 95% of its original volume while retaining its original shape, making it injectable. This ultra-compressibility, unique macroporous network, injectability, softness, and shape-memory properties have advantages for non-invasive deliveries, cavity filling, drug delivery, cell delivery and transplantation, and tissue regeneration. 


  • Improved adhesion to wet surfaces and tissue regeneration
  • Improved hydrogel implant stability with targeted tissues
  • Injectable pre-formed scaffold
  • Tunability by pore-size and interconnectivity development and control
  • Adaptable in a wide range of biopolymers
  • Cost-effective solution


  • Soft Tissue Implantation 
  • Cell Transplantation 
  • Coating of medical devices, controlled-release formulations 
  • Non-invasive deliveries


  • License
  • Partnering
  • Research collaboration
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Mark Saulich
Associate Director of Commercialization
Northeastern University
Devyesh Rana
Sidi Bencherif
Nasim Annabi