Medical Optics
Optoacoustic imaging
Soft Matter Physics
Research projects
Last update: 29.03.2017
Laser Tissue Soldering

Laser-tissue-soldering provides tremendous promise for improved tissue fusion in anastomosis and the closure of gastrotomy. Laser-tissue-soldering is based on the thermal denaturation of tissue with subsequent coagulation of the tissue. A chromophore enhanced protein solution, which acts as a solder, is added to the fusion site. The solder is then irradiated and the laser energy is deposited within the solder. Thus, the tissue is only heated by heat diffusion, reducing the thermal stress. Laser soldering has many advantages over conventional suturing, including improved water and pressure resistance, easier surgery, reduced inflammations due to the absence of foreign body reactions and a faster healing process.

The goal of our research is to find new absorber materials and mechanisms to control the laser tissue soldering process. Existing patches for laser tissue soldering suffer from serious drawbacks: (1) the concentration of the protein bovine serum albumin (BSA) and the chromophore indocyanine green (ICG) does not stay constant during soldering, (2) ICG is poorly stable in aqueous media and when exposed to light and (3) the ICG tends to form aggregates in solution. By incorporating ICG into a nanoparticle (NP) carrier these limitations can be overcome while preserving the physiochemical properties of the dye. We then use electrospinning to produce a patch that entraps the ICG-loaded nanoparticles and the protein bovine serum albumin.

Supplementary we investigate the possibility of laser tissue soldering for the closure of gastrotomy. We designed a plug-shaped solder carrier and we could successfully demonstrated the potential of laser soldering for the closure of gastrotomy in survival studies using adult pigs.