In vitro feasibility analysis of a new sutureless wound-closure system based on a temperature-regulated laser and a transparent collagen membrane for laser tissue soldering (LTS)
For the post-surgical treatment of oral wounds and mucosal defects beyond a certain size, the gold standard is still an autologous skin or mucosal graft in combination with complex suturing techniques. A variety of techniques and biomaterials has been developed for sutureless wound closure including different tissue glues or collagen patches. However, no wound covering that enables for sutureless fixation has yet been introduced. Thus, a new system was developed that allows for sutureless wound covering including a transparent collagen membrane, which can be attached to the mucosa using a specially modified 2l laser beam with integrated temperature sensors and serum albumin as bio-adhesive. The sutureless wound closure system was tested for its applicability and its cytocompatibility by an established in vitro model in the present study. The feasibility of the laser system was tested ex vivo on a porcine palate. The in vitro cytocompatibility tests excluded the potential release of toxic substances from the laser-irradiated collagen membrane and the bio-adhesive. The results of the ex vivo feasibility study using a porcine palate revealed satisfactory mean tensile strength of 1.2-1.5 N for the bonding of the membrane to the tissue fixed with laser of 980 nm. The results suggest that our newly developed laser-assisted wound closure system is a feasible approach and could be a first step on the way towards a laser based sutureless clinical application in tissue repair and oral surgery.