(256ab) Spatiotemporal Modeling and Rapid Sealing of Ruptured Tissue with Plasmonic Nanocomposites
Laser tissue welding is a tissue repair technique that utilizes a chromophore to convert photons into heat in order to seal apposed tissue edges by localized protein denaturation and interdigitation. Laser tissue welding has emerged as a promising alternative to sutures or staples conventionally used for sealing soft tissues, with the potential to limit surgical complications such as anastomotic leakage and wound dehiscence while also reducing healing times and scarring. However, insufficient closure strength, surgical inconvenience, and extensive thermal damage have hindered the clinical application of this technique, largely due to the unavailability of effective solders (surgical sealants). In this work, we describe the development of novel plasmonic nanocomposites for laser tissue welding that overcome these barriers in tissue welding. Several different gold nanorod-polypeptide were developed and investigated for welding ruptured tissues ex vivo. Leak pressure, burst pressure, and tensile strength measurements indicated that laser welding using plasmonic nanocomposites was able to restore significant mechanical integrity to the welded tissue. Additionally, we developed a spatiotemporal model for predicting local temperatures to aid in narrowing the parameter space and selecting optimal surgical parameters. Preliminary in vivo results in sealing colotomy incisions in mice are also presented.