site.btaBulgarian Scientists Develop Kanokonlit Synthesis Technology, Apparatus
Broken things bring happiness! Many remember those comforting words their parents used to tell them when they unintentionally broke grandma's favourite coffee mug. The family memory lived on, thanks to Bulgarian instant glue Kanokonlit. Today the Bulgarian glue for memories still "heals" wounds - surgical incisions of soft tissues. The medics at the Military Medical Academy in Sofia and Pirogov Hospital are applying it in complex pediatric brain-cranial surgeries instead of stitching. The glue also finds its place in microelectronics.
The technology and the apparatus for the Kanokonlit synthesis were developed by a team consisting of: Corresponding Member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Prof. Vladimir Stefanov Kabaivanov, Prof. Petar Hristov Novakov, and Assoc. Prof. Hristo Ivanov Konstantinov. The glue’s name is derived from the first syllables of the surnames of the three scientists. Today, through the memories of one of the creators of the glue, Assoc. Prof. Konstantinov, people remember the life of the late Prof. Novakov.
Petar Novakov graduated from the Institute of Chemical Technology - currently University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy (UCTM). His interest in instant glues originated in 1967-1968. He was a co-author of 74 inventions related to the creation of original methods for the synthesis of new and modified polymer and oligomer materials and their components. Prof. Novakov was a recipient of the Bulgarian Patent Office’s Badge. He was included in the Patent Office’s Golden Book on December 21, 1995.
In Bulgaria, the instant glue topic originated thanks to military surgeon Dr. Angel Angelov from the Military Medical Academy-Plovdiv in the context of the Vietnam War. A variant of an instant adhesive was applied in a military field surgery for the first time by American doctors during that period. The glue was called biological, and later tissue adhesive, due to tissue compatibility and biodegradability, Assoc. Prof. Konstantinov explained. In fact, the instant glue, as a chemical compound, alkyl alpha-cyanoacrylate, was discovered in a chemical laboratory in the USA by accident. When the newly synthesized products were analyzed, one of them glued together the glass prisms of the refractometer apparatus, which is used to determine the chemical compound's light refractive index. This is how the idea of using the product as an adhesive in soft tissue surgery was conceived. The development of the technology and apparatus for its synthesis is credited to the Bulgarian team, which Novakov was part of.
At a later stage, interest in the adhesive was shown by the microelectronics sector, in the manufacture of components for the needs of industry, for which the mechanical strength of the bonding of individual structural elements, combined with high bonding speed and minimal adhesive layer thickness, is crucial. Several sub-variants of the adhesive have also been developed depending on the specific requirements of the practice, such as for the repair of rubber conveyor belts in opencast coal mines.
The Bulgarian so-called technical instant adhesive with the trademark Kanakonlit E was exported in small quantities to some European countries, including the USSR. Germany showed interest in the Bulgarian technology for the production of the medical instant glue Konokonlit B, as well as Ireland, where the headquarters of the adhesives company Loctite is located. The talks between the countries did not go well, said Konstantinov.
The story is published within the framework of a partnership initiative between BTA and BPO, which envisages the presentation of Bulgarians listed in BPO's Golden Book and the activities of the Patent Office in a joint weekly column entitled "Created in Bulgaria".