Advances in photonics have stimulated significant progress in medicine, with many techniques now in routine clinical use. However, the finite depth of light penetration in tissue is a serious constraint to clinical utility. Here we show implantable light-delivery devices made of bio-derived or biocompatible, and biodegradable polymers. In contrast to conventional optical fibres, which must be removed from the body soon after use, the biodegradable and biocompatible waveguides may be used for long-term light delivery and need not be removed as they are gradually resorbed by the tissue. As proof of concept, we demonstrate this paradigm-shifting approach for photochemical tissue bonding (PTB). Using comb-shaped planar waveguides, we achieve a full thickness ( 410 mm) wound closure of porcine skin, which represents similar to 10-fold extension of the tissue area achieved with conventional PTB. The results point to a new direction in photomedicine for using light in deep tissues.