Laser-activated protein bands for peripheral nerve repair

Antonio Lauto*, Rodney I. Trickett, Richard Malik, Judith M. Dawes, Earl Owen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    A 100 micrometer core optical fiber-coupled 75 mW diode laser operating at a wavelength of 800 nm has been used in conjunction with a protein solder to stripe weld severed rat tibial nerves, reducing the long operating time required for microsurgical nerve repair. Welding is produced by selective laser denaturation of the protein based solder which contains the dye indocyanine green. Operating time for laser soldering was 10 plus or minus 5 min. (n equals 24) compared to 23 plus or minus 9 min (n equals 13) for microsuturing. The laser solder technique resulted in patent welds with a tensile strength of 15 plus or minus 5 g, while microsutured nerves had a tensile strength of 40 plus or minus 10 g. Histopathology of the laser soldered nerves, conducted immediately after surgery, displayed solder adhesion to the outer membrane with minimal damage to the inner axons of the nerves. An in vivo study, with a total of fifty-seven adult male wistar rats, compared laser solder repaired tibial nerves to conventional microsuture repair. Twenty-four laser soldered nerves and thirteen sutured nerves were characterized at three months and showed successful regeneration with average compound muscle action potentials (CMAP) of 2.4 plus or minus 0.7 mV and 2.7 plus or minus 0.8 mV respectively. Histopathology of the in vivo study, confirmed the comparable regeneration of axons in laser and suture operated nerves. A faster, less damaging and long lasting laser based anastomotic technique is presented.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
    EditorsStephen G. Bown, Frederic Laffitte, Raimund Hibst, Hans-Dieter Reidenbach, Herbert J. Geschwind, al et al
    Place of PublicationWashington, DC
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Print)0819419877, 9780819419873
    Publication statusPublished - 1996
    EventMedical Applications of Lasers III - Barcelona, Spain
    Duration: 12 Sep 199516 Sep 1995


    OtherMedical Applications of Lasers III
    CityBarcelona, Spain


    • laser solder nerve welding
    • peripheral nerve anastomosis


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