The adhesive you choose will depend largely on your application. Use the guide below to select the appropriate glue for your life science research application.

  1. Cyanoacrylate Adhesives
    Cyanoacrylate adhesives have been on the market since 1958. Most industrial or household grade cyanoacrylate is made of shorter alkyl chain derivatives such as methyl or ethyl cyanoacrylate (WPI #7341 and #7342). They are very useful for temporarily holding tissues such as mounting specimens for microtome sectioning. Cyanoacrylates Not Suitable for Live Animals Historically, cyanoacrylates have not been suitable for bonding wounds on live animals. The difficulties of using cyanoacrylate for bonding live animals include: a strong, irritating odor quick loss of bonding strength due to breakdown of the bonding by hydration the breakdown products (cyanoacetate and formaldehyde) are toxic and can cause inflammatory reactions they have low flexibility and tend to be brittle Butyl Cyanoacrylate Better for Surgical Applications To overcome these issues, several longer alkyl chain cyanoacrylates were developed especially for veterinary and human use. The first longer alkyl chain product is butyl cyanoacrylate. Butyl cyanoacrylate has been used for animal and human applications outside the USA since 1970. It is much less toxic and has a lower odor than the methyl and ethyl cyanoacrylates. Our VetBond is a butyl cyanoacrylate. New Octyl Cyanoacrylates are Even Better A family of adhesives containing octyl cyanoacrylate, a plasticizer and stabilizer, was developed In the 1990's (one of them approved by FDA for human use). When bonding to tissue, these new adhesives are four times stronger and less toxic than butyl cyanoacrylate. Compared with the traditional suture, the new super adhesive has several advantages. On average, it takes only one-tenth of the time to close an incision. The bonding strength is equal to 5-0 monofilament suture. It has a mysterious antimicrobial effect that can decrease infection rates in contaminated wounds. Bonding will slough off naturally in 5 to 7 days. Cosmetic appearance of the healed incision is also better. Gluture Topical Tissue Adhesive (WPI #503763), WPI's octyl cyanoacrylate, forms a strong and flexible film. This makes it more suitable for surface wound bonding, protection and holding a sensor or other device on the tissue. Setting time is about 10 seconds, which gives ample time for application, It can also be used for temporarily holding live tissue. For example, there is a report of using it to hold nematodes on a glass slide for patch clamp neuron recording.
  2. Epoxy Adhesives
    Epoxy adhesives form strong bonds and are used in wire bonding applications.
  3. Hot Melt Glues
    Our miniature glue gun comes with three sticks of specially formulated hot melt glue for use in a research laboratory.
  4. Silicone Adhesives
    The adhesive you select will depend largely on your biomedical research laboratory application. If you are building electrodes, you might use a silver-filled, conductive epoxy to connect a Ag/AgCl pellet. For instantaneous bonding when mounting a rodent brain slice, you might select an ethyl cyanoacrylate. When you are looking for a low toxicity adhesive with some elasticity and good moisture resistance, a silicone adhesive is the option of choice. When used with living tissue, an adhesive must be:  Non-toxic Able to adhere to organic and inorganic surfaces We offer a variety of silicone adhesives, which are popular for life science applications. KWIK-SIL Applications: Peripheral nerve studies, stereotaxic surgery, electrical or optical measurements. Cure Time: < 5 min. @ 25ºC Our most popular biomedical grade adhesive is Kwik-Sil, a two-part silicone adhesive with very low toxicity. The by-product of curing is hydrogen, making it suitable for use with living tissue. Kwik-Sil is ideal for neuroscience applications and nerve studies. It comes in convenient applicators with special tips that perfectly mix the two parts of the adhesive with every use. This silicone adhesive cures rapidly.  KWIK-CAST Applications: Peripheral nerve studies, stereotaxic surgery, electrical or optical measurements. For application in smaller spaces.Cure Time: < 5 min. @ 25ºC  Kwik-Cast is similar to Kwik-Sil. While Kwik-Sil is a medium viscosity, Kwik-Cast is a low viscosity silicone sealant. If flows easily and fills small spaces around nerves. It is an excellent sealant for life science applications. Like Kwik-Sil, hydrogen is the by-product of curing, it cures rapidly and it has extremely low toxicity when used with living tissues. KWIK-GARD (Sylgard 184) Cure Time: 24 hrs. @ 25ºC, 15 min. @ 150ºC Kwik-Gard is a uniquely packaged Sylgard 184, a two-part silicone elastomer with a very low dielectric constant. It is a silicone adhesive sealing compound perfect for patch clamping. Like Kwik-Sil, Kwik-Gardis packaged in cartridges that are fitted with mixing tips to make application easier and eliminate the mess of mixing prior to application. RTV Adhesives Cure Time: 24-72 hrs @ 25ºC When you need to bond a variety of materials or require better adhesion, an RTV (room temperature vulcanizing) adhesive might be your silicone adhesive of choice. These adhesives are a good choice for metal electronics circuit applications. We offer two RTV adhesives. 7128RTV Coating  is non-corrosive and requires no mixing, however, it does give off methanol as a by-product. 1571 RTV Sealant bonds well with plastic and also requires no mixing, though it does give off acetic acid as a by-product of curing. It is a excellent general adhesive for routine laboratory use. This RTV sealant cures at room temperature when exposed to the moisture in the air. After curing, it remains stable and flexible rubber. Whether you are sealing a craniotomy or filling the space between the spinal cord and a newly installed glass window to the spinal cord, a biomedical adhesive like Kwik-Sil is perfect. 

Adhesives Application Guide

Part No. Description Curing time Useful Applications and Characteristics
Form strong bonding. Used in wire bonding applications.
Silver filled conductive Epoxy 12 hrs@50C; 5 min @150C Connecting conductors that can't be soldered. Constructing or connecting Ag/AgCl pellets.
carbon filled conductive epoxy
Carbon filled conductive Epoxy 48 hrs@25C; 5 min @150C Constructing carbon electrode.
High performance Structural Epoxy 12 hrs@25C. Forms a strong and slightly flexible bond on plastic, metal, and glass. Bonds some low surface .
Easy to use for bonding, needs large gap filling. 
Mini Glue Gun with glue sticks As soon as it cools down Bonds wood, glass, metals, and many plastics.
SILICONE (Adhesive/Sealants/Primers)
Good moisture resistant and elastic. Low toxic.
Room temperature vulcanizing (RTV) adhesive. Acyloxy/moisture cure system. Acetic acid is cure by-product. 24hrs@25C Has the best adhesion property in this silicone family. Will bond to many materials.
RTV Adhesive
RTV sealant. Alkoxy/Moisture cure system. Methanol as cure by-product. 72hrs@25C Good for bonding or sealing electronics circuits (metal).

Sylgard, Two parts, vinyl/platinum cure sealant. Hydrogen as cure by-products. Very low toxic 24hrs@25C, 15 min.@150C Coating Patch Clamp electrodes, Cell culture dish, making dissection pads.
Two part, adhesive. Vinyl/platinum system, Hydrogen as cure by-products. Very low toxic. < 5 min@25C Live tissue and nerve studies. Medium strength adhesion.
Two part sealant. Vinyl/platinum cure system. Hydrogen as cure by-products. Very low toxic. < 5 min@25C Sealant for live tissues. Embedding peripheral nerves with electrodes.
Silicone Primer
Primer for silicone N/A Enhances adhesion of silicone adhesives for difficult to bond plastic surfaces
Forms an instantaneous bonding.
Ethyl Cyanoacrylate
Ethyl Cyanoacrylate, low viscosity 90-120 cps <10 seconds Mounting rat/mouse brain slices. Ideal for relatively small gaps and smooth surfaces.Bonds plastic, metals and rubber. Package of 10 vials, each approximately 1.5 mL.
Ethyl Cyanoacrylate
Ethyl Cyanoacrylate, high viscosity 1100-1600 cps <30 seconds Use on brain slice exp. Ideal for larger gaps, allows slightly longer bonding time. Bonds plastic, metals and rubber. Package of 10 vials, each approximately 1.5 mL.
Butyl Cyanoacrylate, Low toxic <10 seconds Bonds tissues, alternative to suture, helps small wound healing. Antimicrobial effect. Used in forensic science.
Octyl Cyanoacrylate, Low toxic <15 seconds Suitable for surface wound bonding, protection, holding a sensor or other device on the tissue.


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