Strong, Multifaceted Guanidinium-Based Adhesion of Bioorganic Nanoparticles to Wet Biological Tissue

Lam Tan Hao, Sohee Park, Seunghwan Choy, Young Min Kim, Seung Woo Lee, Yong Sik Ok, Jun Mo Koo, Sung Yeon Hwang, Dong Soo Hwang, Jeyoung Park, Dongyeop X. Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Gluing dynamic, wet biological tissue is important in injury treatment yet difficult to achieve. Polymeric adhesives are inconvenient to handle due to rapid cross-linking and can raise biocompatibility concerns. Inorganic nanoparticles adhere weakly to wet surfaces. Herein, an aqueous suspension of guanidinium-functionalized chitin nanoparticles as a biomedical adhesive with biocompatible, hemostatic, and antibacterial properties is developed. It glues porcine skin up to 3000-fold more strongly (30 kPa) than inorganic nanoparticles at the same concentration and adheres at neutral pH, which is unachievable with mussel-inspired adhesives alone. The glue exhibits an instant adhesion (2 min) to fully wet surfaces, and the glued assembly endures one-week underwater immersion. The suspension is lowly viscous and stable, hence sprayable and convenient to store. A nanomechanic study reveals that guanidinium moieties are chaotropic, creating strong, multifaceted noncovalent bonds with proteins: salt bridges comprising ionic attraction and bidentate hydrogen bonding with acidic moieties, cation-πinteractions with aromatic moieties, and hydrophobic interactions. The adhesion mechanism provides a blueprint for advanced tissue adhesives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1399-1411
Number of pages13
JournalJACS Au
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept 27


  • antibacterial properties
  • bioorganic nanoparticles
  • chitin
  • guanidinium
  • hemostasis
  • noncovalent interactions
  • surface chemistry
  • tissue adhesive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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