No Need for Stitches, Laser Technology Could Seal and Repair Wounds

Technology has realized many stories we learnt from sci-fi fictions and movies. A new technology like the “dermal regenerator” in Star Trek that heals wound with laser was developed by a research team from Arizona State University.

Kaushal Rege, professor of Chemical Engineering at Arizona State University, and his team members has published a paper on Advanced Functional Materials which describes how they successfully repaired animal wounds with laser-activated silk and gold nanomaterials.

The researchers embedded gold nanorods in a silk protein matrix as the material to seal and repair the skin. When the gold and silk integrated nanomaterials was hit by near-infrared light, the silk would be activated and bond with the skin to form a seal. The near-infrared laser used in the experiment operated at a wavelength of 800 nanometers, which does not cause damage to the skin but is powerful enough to activate the silk protein of the nanomaterial.


(Image: Urie et al. 2018)

Two types of the nanomaterial were developed by the team. One is water-resistant for the use in wet environment and the other is for dry environment. The water-resistant one acted seven times stronger than traditional sutures to prevent liquid leaking from the wound when tested in pig intestines.

As near-infrared light can go deeper into the skin, the research team aims to improve the technology for repairing tissues that are deep in the body such as vessels and nerves.

Reference:Rapid Soft Tissue Approximation and Repair Using Laser‐Activated Silk Nanosealants

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