Michael Berger over at Nanowerk profiles the work of Japanese scientists that created adhesive ultrathin “nanosheets” that are able to bind tissue together. The goal was to create a material that can help avoid suturing or stapling of fragile tissue during surgery. The material, developed by a team from Waseda University and the National Defense Medical College, may also lead to plastic surgery techniques that don’t leave a scar behind.
“We have studied platelet substitutes, which are biodegradable nanoparticles such as phospholipid vesicles and polymerized albumin particles carrying platelet membrane proteins and peptides for ten years” [Dr. Shinji Takeoka from Waseda University] says. “We noticed that the nanoparticles specifically accumulated at sites of vascular injury and had in vivo hemostatic ability. Moreover, in order to enhance their hemostatic abilities, we proposed the idea of sheet-shaped carriers having a larger contact area for a targeting site than spherical nanoparticles.”
Recently, the team has succeeded in fabricating nanosheets with micro-size and nano-thickness, and with centimeter-size and nano-thickness. The former will be applied for injectable carriers, and the latter will be applied as surgical materials.
To demonstrate the suitability of their nanosheets as a novel wound dressing material that lacks adhesive reagents, the researchers repaired incisions on mouse stomachs with them instead of sutures. They found that the PLLA nanosheet has an excellent sealing efficacy and the healed wound showed neither scar nor tissue adhesion.
More from Nanowerk…
Abstract in Advanced Materials: Free-Standing Biodegradable Poly(lactic acid) Nanosheet for Sealing Operations in Surgery
Images: Top: Preparation of PLLA nanosheets and appearance. (Dr. Shinji Takeoka, Waseda University); Side: Macroscopic and microscopic observations of the stomach seven days after treatments. Sealing with the PLLA nanosheet (a,c). Conventional suture/ligation (b,d). Letters F, M, and S show fibroblasts, mucosa, and submucosa, respectively.