(197k) Laser-Activated Nanocomposites for Tissue Repair
Sutures and staples are ubiquitous in surgery, but present their own complications and cause local trauma to tissue during application. Glues, adhesives and sealants have been investigated as means for approximating wounds, but many suffer from toxicity and poor strength. Photothermal tissue sealing and repair, facilitated by near-infrared laser-responsive nanoglues, has emerged as a potential alternative to existing tissue apposition methods. Here, we demonstrate the photothermal sealing of lacerted skin and other ruptured tissues using laser activation of novel nanoglues in which, gold nanorods (GNRs) are embedded throughout a polypeptide matrix. Critical factors including laser power density, exposure time, and laser type (continuous wave or pulsed wave) were investigated in order to determine optimal treatment parameters that led to the highest recovery in sealing strength. Laser-activated sealing of full thickness lacerations in skin of live mice resulted recovery of tissue mechanical properties and integrity that were comparable to that seen with commercial sutures. Local inflammation caused by photothermal sealing approach was minimal and was compared to that seen with commercial sutures. Furthermore, laser-activated sealing was also employed to reinforce suture lines in skin, as a combination approach that can provide significant benefit for rapid sealing and healing of skin lacerations. Our results demonstrate that polypeptide-GNR nanoglues may have applications in photothermal sealing and repair of ruptured tissues and may emerge as attractive alternatives to sutures.