Butyl Cyanoacrylate, Low Toxicity Adhesive

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Biocompatible adhesive that is four times stronger than butyl cyanoacrylate and less toxic

  • Bonds tissue
  • Use in place of sutures for small animal surgery
  • Antimicrobial effect
  • Use in forensic science
  • Butyl Cyanoacrylate
  • Low toxicity
  • Cures in < 10 seconds

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. However, they are not suitable for bonding wounds on live animals. The difficulties of using cyanoacrylate for bonding live animals are:

  • 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.

To overcome these problems, several longer alkyl chain cyanoacrylates have been developed especially for veterinary and human use. The first longer alkyl chain product is butyl cyanoacrylate. This product 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 or ethyl cyanoacrylate. The butyl cyanoacrylate offered by WPI is Vetbond™, a popular biocompatibe adhesive.

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 adhesives has several advantages.

  • Close incisions in one-tenth of the time
  • Bonding strength is equal to 5-0 monofilament sutures
  • Mysterious antimicrobial effect that can decrease infection rates in contaminated wounds
  • Bonding sloughs off naturally in 5 to 7 days requiring no followup
  • Cosmetic appearance of the healed incision is also better

All of the cyanoacrylate low toxicity adhesives offered by WPI are veterinary grade. They are not suitable for human application. Though very similar to the grade for human use, they are not sterile and do not have FDA approval.

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