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Home > Press > Improved material for ‘laser welding’ of tissue in intestinal surgery

A new “solder” for laser welding of tissue during surgery has the potential to produce stronger seals and expand use of this alternative to conventional sutures and stapling in intestinal surgery.
Credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock
A new “solder” for laser welding of tissue during surgery has the potential to produce stronger seals and expand use of this alternative to conventional sutures and stapling in intestinal surgery.

Credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Abstract:
A new "solder" for laser welding of tissue during surgical operations has the potential to produce stronger seals and expand use of this alternative to conventional sutures and stapling in intestinal surgery, scientists are reporting. Their study, which involves use of a gold-based solder, or sealing material, appears in the journal ACS Nano.

Improved material for ‘laser welding’ of tissue in intestinal surgery

Washington, DC | Posted on May 8th, 2013

Kaushal Rege and colleagues explain that laser tissue welding (LTW) is a "stitch-free" surgical method for connecting and sealing blood vessels, cartilage in joints, the liver, the urinary tract and other tissues. LTW involves use of laser light to heat tissue, causing changes that enable the sides of incisions to seal. LTW has advantages over sutures or staples, such as a shorter operation time and reduced scarring. However, it forms weak seals that can be a special problem in intestinal surgery. Leaks of intestinal contents can cause extremely painful and life-threatening abdominal infections. The scientists set out to develop an improved form of LTW that produces strong seals.

They describe development and successful laboratory tests of the material, a tissue solder called a plasmonic nanocomposite. It has gold nanorods in it that are so small that that 100,000 could fit in the period at the end of this sentence. The gold nanorods are wrapped inside a material that makes it more elastic so it can move with the body. They found that when the material was used as a light-activated solder for laser-welding cuts in pig intestines, it formed a strong, "liquid-tight" but elastic seal, preventing bacteria from leaking out. "Taken together, these plasmonic nanocomposites are exciting materials for laser-based tissue repair," say the researchers. The researchers plan to investigate these materials in animals with intestinal injury.

The authors acknowledge funding from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative.

####

About American Chemical Society (ACS)
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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Contacts:
Kaushal Rege, Ph.D.
Chemical Engineering
Biomedical Engineering
Arizona State University
Tempe, Ariz. 85287-6106
Phone: 480-727-8616
Fax: 480-727-9321


Science Inquiries:
Michael Woods
editor

202-872-6293

General Inquiries:
Michael Bernstein

202-872-6042

Copyright © American Chemical Society (ACS)

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