Seroma prevention using Mytilus edulis protein in a rat mastectomy model

Thomas L. Chung, Luther H. Holton, Nelson H. Goldberg, Ronald P. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Seroma formation is common following mastectomy and autologous breast reconstruction and is a potential cause of significant morbidity in patients. For this reason, many methods have been investigated to prevent this complication. BD Cell-Tak is a tissue adhesive formulated from the proteins excreted by the marine mussel Mytilus edulis. The purpose of this study was to determine if Cell-Tak is able to prevent seroma formation in a rat mastectomy seroma model. Twenty Sprague-Dawley rats underwent unilateral radical mastectomy, partial axillary lymph node dissection, and disruption of the dermal lymphatics. The animals were randomly assigned to either control (n = 10) or experimental groups (n = 10). The experimental animals received 0.3 ml of the topical adhesive in the wound prior to closure, whereas control animals received no treatment. On postoperative day 7, seroma collections were aspirated and quantified and the tissue flaps were sent for histologic analysis. The control rats had a mean seroma volume of 5.3 ± 2.6 ml, whereas the rats treated with Cell-Tak tissue adhesive had a mean seroma volume of 1.8 ± 1.5 ml (p <0.004). Histologic analysis revealed mild inflammation consistent with postoperative changes in both groups and no evidence of foreign body reaction to the adhesive. BD Cell-Tak tissue adhesive significantly reduces seroma formation in the rat mastectomy model. This tissue adhesive may prove beneficial in patients undergoing mastectomy with or without breast reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-445
Number of pages4
JournalBreast Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes



  • Mastectomy
  • Mytilus edulis
  • Seroma
  • Tissue adhesive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Oncology

Cite this

Chung, T. L., Holton, L. H., Goldberg, N. H., & Silverman, R. P. (2006). Seroma prevention using Mytilus edulis protein in a rat mastectomy model. Breast Journal, 12(5), 442-445.