Sutureless microvascular anastomoses by a biodegradable laser-activated solid protein solder

Peter K M Maitz*, Rodney I. Trickett, Peter Dekker, Pierluigi Tos, Judith M. Dawes, James A. Piper, Marco Lanzetta, Earl R. Owen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A new sutureless technique to successfully anastomose the abdominal aorta of rats (1.3 mm in diameter) by using a fully biodegradable, laser- activated protein solder is presented. A total of 90 rats were divided into two groups randomly. In group one, the anastomoses were performed by using conventional microsuturing technique, whereas in group two, the anastomoses were performed by using a new laser welding technique. In addition, each of the two groups were divided into five subgroups and evaluated at different follow-up periods (10 minutes, 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, and 6 weeks). At these intervals, the anastomoses were evaluated for patency and tensile strength. Three anastomoses in each subgroup were processed for light and electron microscopy. All anastomoses were found to be patent. The mean clamp time of the anastomoses performed with conventional suturing was 20.6 minutes compared with 7.2 minutes for the laser-activated welded anastomoses (p < 0.001). The strain measurements showed a stronger mechanical bond of the sutured anastomoses in the initial phase. However, at 6 weeks the tensile strength of the laser-welded anastomoses was higher compared with the conventional suture technique. Histologic evaluations revealed a near complete resorption of the solder after 6 weeks. The junction site of the vessel ends cannot be determined on the luminal side of the artery. In conclusion, a resorbable protein used as a solder, activated by a diode laser, can provide a reliable, safe, and rapid arterial anastomosis, which could be performed by any microsurgeon faster than conventional suturing after a short learning curve.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1726-1731
Number of pages6
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Volume104
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1999

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