For closing any wound or scar sutures and staplers are not the best option anymore due to their delayed healing and ability to produce a scar.
FREMONT, CA: Surgeons use staples and sutures in clinical practice to seal wounds and injuries of soft tissues. Traditionally closing a scar not only requires stitching, but it is also time-consuming and is an infection-prone procedure. On the other hand, staples are not only faster, but they are also less infection-prone and affordable. Although staples can be a better alternative against the sutures due to their capability of fast healing and cause minimal infection, they also have their drawbacks, and that can produce permanent scars. It also results in less precise wound edge alignment.
The researchers at Arizona State University have come up with a new method which is similar to welding. The process can be used for sealing tissues during surgeries and also for the treatment of tissues that not only conquer the disadvantages with sutures and staplers but also improve their effectiveness. The seal is also tighter that does not allow the infection-causing agent to infiltrate the area of the incision.
The new method utilizes a laser for activating gold nanorods to heat up and melt the silk fibers nearby. The silk fibers that are in touch with the collagen in their surrounding area interact with them, and the two fuses together. The collagen is a protein inside the body’s different connective tissues that readily bond tissues and also assist in healing the wounds and incisions while protecting the scared area from infections. After delivering the necessary amount of laser, it is withdrawn in such a manner that the tissue interlaces with the silk fibers and creates a secure connection.
Presently, the technique has been tried on wounds that are small, and it is yet to be tested for applications that are severely complicated, which also includes internal organs. A team of specialized doctors is working so that they can make the approach possible for sensitive internal organs as the interior characteristics are harsher as they make new formulations of the golf-silk mixture.
Remarkably, the sealing has sufficient mechanical strength and does not allow any kind of leaks, separations, and infections to happen while stimulating the body’s natural healing process.