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Proceedings Paper

Preliminary evaluation of collagen as a component in the thermally induced 'weld'
Author(s): G. Michael Lemole; R. Rox Anderson; Sue DeCoste
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Paper Abstract

A simple thermodynamic approach to tissue 'welding' was studied. Fresh bovine tendon (67% type I collagen) was sectioned into disk shaped pieces, pairs of which were inserted between bowed glass coverslips and wrapped in aluminum foil. The packets were heated in a waterbath according to two protocols. In group I, packets were tested for four minutes at temperatures between 55-65 degree(s)C, in 1 degree(s)C intervals. In group II, the packets were kept at 62 degree(s)C for 4 minutes while the rate of cooling was altered. The force necessary to separate the tendon disks was then measured. The optimal temperature for tissue bonding (group I) was 62 degree(s)C (598 gm/in2). Stress values below 250 gm/in2 could be achieved without heat application and were considered non-welds. Group II showed that the faster the sample cools, the stronger the bond. Several conclusions can be postulated. The narrow temperature region necessary for tissue 'welding' strongly suggests that melting of type I collagen fibrils is involved. Bonding presumably occurs at 62 degree(s)C by allowing (alpha) -strands from the collagen super-helix molecule to form new, random connections. Group II results suggest that trans-incisional reannealing of unraveled helices does not play a role in tissue bonding. Rapid cooling allows less time for extended helix reformation; same-side a-helix reannealing may inhibit effective welds by reducing sites for trans-incisional visco-elastic bonding. Although the exact nature and optimization of thermal tissue 'welds' remains unclear, the behavior of collagen appears to play a central role.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 June 1991
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 1422, Lasers in Dermatology and Tissue Welding, (1 June 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.43947
Show Author Affiliations
G. Michael Lemole, Wellman Labs., Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Gene (United States)
R. Rox Anderson, Wellman Labs., Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Gene (United States)
Sue DeCoste, Wellman Labs., Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Gene (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1422:
Lasers in Dermatology and Tissue Welding
Oon Tian Tan; Rodney A. White; John V. White, Editor(s)

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