Sutures and Staplers are no longer the best options to close wounds for their delayed healing and scar producing ability.
FREMONT, CA: To seal wounds and injuries in soft tissues, surgeons use staples and sutures in clinical practice. The traditional method of closing wounds involves stitching and is time-consuming as well as an infection-prone process. On the other hand, staples are quicker, less infection-prone, and affordable. Although staples are a better alternative to sutures for their fast healing capability and cause less infection, they have their disadvantages producing permanent scars. It also results in less precise wound edge alignment.
Researchers at Arizona State University have come up with a new technique similar to welding. It can be used to seal tissues during surgeries and treat tissues that not only overcome the disadvantages with sutures and staplers but also enhance their effectiveness. The seal is tighter to allow infectious agents to penetrate the area of the incision.
The new technique employs a laser to activate gold nanorods to heat up and melt the silk fibers nearby. The silk fibers touching the collagen in their vicinity interact with them, and the two fuses together. The collagen refers to a protein within the body’s various connective tissues that readily bond tissues and assist in healing wounds and incisions while protecting possible infections. After delivering the required amount of laser, it is withdrawn such that the tissue interlaces with the silk fibers, creating a secure connection.
Currently, the technique has been tried with small skin wounds and is to be tested for application in severe complications, including procedures involving internal organs. A specialized team is working to make the approach applicable for sensitive internal organs as their internal characteristics are harsher by making new formulations of the golf-silk mixture.
Notably, this type of sealing has enough mechanical strength such that leaks, separations, and infections do not happen while stimulating the body’s natural healing process.