Technology - Bioresorbable Zinc-Based Surgical Staples

Bioresorbable Zinc-Based Surgical Staples

Over 28 million surgeries are performed each year in America, and about 10 million operations of those are on the digestive system. To end off gastrointestinal surgeries, stapled anastomosis (SA) or hand‑sewn anastomosis (HA) are used. Ever since SA has been introduced, it has been found that SA is associated with reduced tissue manipulation, better blood supply, less edema, earlier restoration of function, and shorter operation times when compared to HA. SA has also shown more applicability in areas of the body where HA is generally difficult to do. These discoveries lead to the conclusion that SA is a superior process to HA.
The most common metal implemented in SA is titanium, but there are many disadvantages to using Ti staples. They are not biodegradable and there are often adverse reactions reported after the anastomosis is done. They can cause chronic inflammation, bleeding, and infection in the body and may even require a second revision or removal surgery. Additionally, the Ti staples cause distortions in computed tomography and othering diagnostic imaging which increases the risk of misdiagnosis. An alternative to Ti staples is biodegradable polymers, which degrade in the human environment. However, the issue with these polymers is that they have poor mechanical properties resulting in low closure strength of the wound after anastomosis. Magnesium staples have also been researched as a potential application in SA, however, they degrade too quickly and can cause dihydrogen evolution in the body, which can cause tissue swelling and dehiscence.
Therefore there is a need for a composition that biodegrades at the right time and also has strong mechanical properties. Zinc staples could fulfill this need.

Technology Overview:

This technology revolves around the implementation of Zinc alloys/composites in surgical staples for wound closure. These staples are biodegradable, implantable, and have good closure strength. The degradation rates of the staples can be tuned as needed by putting different types and percentages of biodegradable metallic materials in the alloys/composites. Depending on the procedure and clinical requirements, the staples can provide mechanical and functional support for weeks/months and then biodegrade after a further few weeks/months.
The Zn alloy that the staples are made of can be comprised of aluminum, iron, magnesium, calcium, strontium, silver, copper, titanium, manganese, selenium, molybdenum, chromium, cobalt, silicon, vanadium, nickel, lithium, sodium, potassium, germanium, rubidium, tungsten, cesium, scandium, yttrium, or zirconium. Combinations of these elements could also be implemented into the alloy proportionally.
Furthermore, these staples are thinner, have a smaller footprint, and are stronger due to the high mechanical strength of Zn. They won't impede growth, cause chronic inflammation, bleeding or infection, and they are cost‑effective.

Source: Kadmy,,


Strong mechanical properties, Negligible toxicity effects, Good biocompatibility and biodegradation, Anti‑microbial properties, Tunable degradation rates, Cost‑effective


Subcuticular anastomosis, Muscular anastomosis, Vascular anastomosis, Other tissue/organ anastomosis, Applications in other surgeries depending on the patient/condition, Potential applications in the veterinary field

Intellectual Property Summary:

Provisional patent

Stage of Development:

Licensing Status:

Available for Licensing

Licensing Potential:

Development partner - Commercial partner - Licensing

Additional Information:

Patent Information: