Tissue Integrating Materials for Wound Repair


As a method for surgical repair, suturing is ubiquitous, and has changed little in modern medicine. Conventional suture techniques still have problems with friable and difficult to close tissues. Current suture alternatives, such as staples, clamps and adhesives, while offering convenience to the surgeon and quicker procedure times, still suffer from the same shortcomings as conventional sutures including leakage, inflammation, delayed healing and scar tissue formation. Laser tissue welding (LTW) is a sutureless method that provides immediate, scar-free fluid-tight sealing and accelerated healing with reduced overall operation time. However, LTW often suffers from insufficient wound closure strength.

Researchers at Arizona State University have developed smart tissue-integrating materials for wound closure and healing. These novel materials combine the benefits of traditional tissue closure agents and tissue welding for wound repair. External stimuli can be used to trigger the materials to form a rapid, robust and uniform weld/seal of the tissue edges. These materials have great mechanical strength and soft tissue integration, allowing for a robust seal. The resultant system is stable can prevent leakage from incision sites. A small intestine anastomosis surgery model was used to validate the materials and methods that were developed.

These tissue-integrating materials can mitigate many challenges associated with conventional sealing and provide a novel solution for rapid and effective wound closure and healing.

Potential Applications

•       New wound closure materials

o       Sutures

o       Staples

Benefits and Advantages

•       Mechanical stabilization - the materials are comparable in strength to commercially-available multifilament braided sutures

•       Seals tissue to increase the mechanical stiffness after approximation

•       Bioabsorbable

•       Robust seal which could lower leakage and tissue dehiscence or rupture rates

•       Elicits low inflammation

•       The materials interdigitate and bond with tissue proteins for gapless integration

•       Can be used in a similar fashion to conventional surgical sutures

•       Can be tailored to delay activation and allow for proper tissue approximation

•       Eliminates the need for knots which can cause foreign body reactions

•       Allow for drug elution to speed up healing

•       Control of tissue integration to reduce inflammation, fluid influx and neutrophil extravasation

For more information about the inventor(s) and their research, please see
Dr. Rege’s laboratory webpage

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