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Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2002 Fall;3(3):251-7.

In vitro assessment of microbial barrier properties of Dermabond topical skin adhesive.

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  • 1Corporate Microbiology and Sterilization Sciences, Ethicon, Somerville, New Jersey 08876, USA. sbhende@ethus.jnj.com



Several different techniques are used for wound closure. Cyanoacrylate tissue adhesives are less invasive and easy to apply, and the cosmetic results are comparable to or better than the conventional methods for wound repair. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate that Dermabond Topical Skin Adhesive, 2-octylcyanoacrylate (a registered trademark of Ethicon) is an effective barrier against the penetration of microorganisms in an in vitro model.


Octylcyanoacrylate adhesive was evaluated in vitro as a barrier to microbial penetration using a strike through test. Agar media containing pH sensitive dye was used. The dye changed color in the presence of acidic microbial metabolic products. Octylcyanoacrylate adhesive was applied to the agar surface to form uniformly thick films. A total of 300 single layered films and an additional 300 triple layered films were evaluated. A 10-microL aliquot of inoculum containing at least 1x10(3) cfu was applied to the surface of each film. Plates were incubated at 37 degrees C for 72 h and were observed for growth and color change every 24 h during the incubation period.


A series of binomial calculations were performed, varying the level of effectiveness of the test and the level of statistical confidence. Of the 600 test articles evaluated, 598 retained their patency at the end of 72 h. One individual test film was invalidated due to extrinsic contamination. The data presented indicated that octylcyanoacrylate tissue adhesive provided a barrier to microbial penetration with 95% confidence of 99% efficacy for 72 h in this in vitro model.


The results of these in vitro experiments supported the hypothesis that octylcyanoacrylate tissue adhesive is an effective barrier to microbial penetration by gram-positive and gram-negative motile and nonmotile species.

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