(201t) Laser-Activated Tissue-Integrating Sutures for Rapid Closure of Soft Tissue
Sutures are typically the primary means of soft tissue approximation in surgery and trauma. Despite their widespread use, sutures do not result in an immediate sealing in approximated tissues, which can results in bacterial leakage and infection in several cases. Non-absorbable sutures and staples are especially traumatic to the tissue and this trauma is exacerbated by their subsequent removal. Use of cyanoacrylate glues has been limited due to their brittleness and toxicity. We have previously demonstrated use of near-infrared responsive gold nanorods (GNRs) embedded in polymer films and gels for photothermal sealing and repair of soft tissues. In this work, we generated and characterized a novel class of laser-activated tissue-integrating sutures (LATIS) by integrating plasmonic (gold or silver) nanoparticles within fibers made from biological and synthetic polymers. We demonstrated that LATIS-based sealing of soft tissues (e.g. skin), both ex vivo and in live mice, synergize benefits associated with conventional suturing and laser-activated tissue integration, resulting in rapid hydrosealing, tissue repair and improved cosmesis. Our results demonstrate that the multifunctional attributes of laser-activated sutures can have significant advantages over existing sutures for rapid sealing of soft tissue wounds.