Surgeons could soon weld your wounds! Researchers develop innovation for wound healing

Just as plumbers use solder to join metal pipes together, scientists can now use a similar technique called laser tissue soldering to repair wounds.

Despite all the medical advances we have developed to heal ourselves, when it comes to cuts and wounds, the options are rather limited – a bandage for a minor cut and for anything deeper, adhesive strips, stitches suture or glue.

In the operating room surgeons have staples to close external wounds and inside the bodies they have the option of suturing, cauterizing (burning tissue to close a wound) or applying a solution made of a protein – fibrin – which causes clotting.

However, these traditional methods can sometimes allow fluid to flow to other structures in the body. This can cause infection and, in severe cases, sepsis.

But now, researchers have developed a wound healing innovation that could transform their options: laser tissue welding. In this technique, a laser heats a paste made of a biocompatible material – albumin, a protein carried in the blood, and tiny particles of metal alloys such as titanium nitride, as well as other substances. When laser light is applied to the paste, it creates a protective layer, binding the tissues together and creating a tight seal.

Surgeons have staples to close external wounds and inside bodies they have the option of suturing, cauterizing (burning tissue to close a wound) or applying a solution made of a protein – fibrin – which causes clotting

The nanoparticles inside the solder paste attract the light energy from the laser and confine it where it is needed. The light generates heat, causing a chemical bond with the tissue it hits, which promotes healing.

Over time, the paste dissipates, being eliminated by the body’s natural clearing processes. The scientists behind the new method, based at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, say the weld provides a perfect seal.

Oscar Cipolato, a physicist leading the research, says, “In some types of surgery, leakage is a problem. They increase the time people spend in the hospital. If you are able to avoid these complications, patients can avoid a lot of pain and possibly even worse consequences such as death.

He explains, “With soldering, you put a solder material on top, which allows you to have a better, stronger bond. This method works the same way on fabrics. We have found that this creates a better seal and also makes it easier for the tissue to regenerate later and close the wound.

So far, the Zurich team, in collaboration with Empa, a Swiss institute for materials science, has proven that the technique works by using bovine albumin paste (extracted from cows) on pig tissue. “welded”.

For decades, scientists have known about the potential of lasers to heal wounds, but the challenge has been to precisely confine the light energy.

Lasers emit a range of light with different wavelengths. If the wavelength is too frequent (or short), it can damage tissues by burning them. If it’s too slow (or long), it may not be generating enough heat.

Despite all the medical advances we have developed to heal ourselves, when it comes to cuts and wounds, the options are pretty much limited to a bandage for a minor cut and for anything deeper, adhesive strips, stitches suture or glue

Despite all the medical advances we have developed to heal ourselves, when it comes to cuts and wounds, the options are rather limited – a bandage for a minor cut and for anything deeper, adhesive strips, stitches suture or glue

The real innovation for the Zurich team was determining the right paste formulation with the laser – refining the technique so that the paste responds to the laser light to generate enough heat to create a seal but not to burn tissue. surrounding.

Commenting on the innovation, Peter Brennan, Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon and Honorary Professor of Surgery at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, said: “It looks like something out of Star Trek – with nanoparticles and laser beams – but it’s is a very exciting concept, subject to appropriate research, clinical trials and evaluation to assess its value and safety for patients. However, in principle, it seems like a great idea.

Consultant NHS colorectal surgeon Shirley Chan says that while the technique is far from suitable for use in humans, it could be a simple way to deal with leakage.

“Currently, the ends of the intestine are joined by individually placed sutures by hand or using specially designed staplers,” she says. “One of the most serious complications is a leaky joint. This can lead to patients getting infections, sepsis, and eventually having to return to the operating room.

“This new technique could become a simple way to ensure a tight seal during an operation.”

Tiny adjustments

Become a morning person by exercising before or at lunchtime, says Russell Foster, professor of circadian neuroscience at the University of Oxford. Exercise and morning light can set your biological clock.

In a recent study, about 100 people walked or ran for an hour at different times of the day for three days. Those who exercised between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. woke up earlier, while those who exercised later (7 p.m. to 10 p.m.) woke up later, the Journal reported. of Physiology.

UV rays to “stop the next pandemic”

Ultraviolet light is effective in killing airborne bacteria and viruses, but it can damage skin and eyes.

However, scientists in the UK have now discovered that a form of it, called far UVC, does not penetrate the top layer of the skin or the tear film of the eye. A new study published in the journal Scientific Reports has shown that far UVC kills 98% of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria in five minutes. The researchers said it could be used to clean places where people gather and could ‘prevent the next pandemic’.

Ultraviolet light is effective in killing airborne bacteria and viruses, but there is a risk of damaging skin and eyes [File photo]

Ultraviolet light is effective in killing airborne bacteria and viruses, but there is a risk of damaging skin and eyes [File photo]

Boost her heart with cranberries

Eating cranberries every day could improve men’s heart health, scientists from King’s College London suggest. When healthy men were asked to eat the equivalent of 100g of fresh cranberries daily in powder form for a month, or a placebo powder, those who ate the real thing had better blood circulation, a marker of blood vessels and heart function.

The researchers, writing in the journal Food & Function, said polyphenols – powerful plant-based nutrients – in the fruit could explain the results.

Blood injections relieve arthritis pain

Blood injections can significantly improve osteoarthritis symptoms, according to a study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery.

Fifty-nine patients received injections of platelet-rich plasma (made from their own blood that had been centrifuged to remove red blood cells). There was an average 60% improvement in symptoms, including pain, in the first month. Patients who received a second injection (on average 12 days later) improved more than those who received only one injection.

The benefits are thought to be due to the anti-inflammatory effect of plasma – inflammation drives symptoms and disease progression.

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