Bonding the edges of human tissue is a vital step in most surgical procedures and in medicine today, and surgeons utilize either compression, pressure packing or thermal energy generated by electrocautery, ultrasonic or radio-frequency ablation devices to seal tissues and suture or staples to join them. Laser tissue welding is a quantum transformation which does both seal and join tissues without the adverse effects of compression, foreign body reaction or thermal damage.

The innovation lies in the iterations and refinements across numerous cross disciplinary areas involving medical lasers, laser optics, biologic biomaterials and surgical procedural techniques.  

The laser tissue welding technology can be used for open, minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic procedures  providing quick, accurate, suture-less, non-ablative sealing including hemostasis over resected surfaces of solid visceral organs, such as liver, pancreas and kidney. Using this process, surgeons are able to point, aim and fuse tissues immediately after resection. The technology is intuitive and allows surgeons to significantly reduce total operating time, blood loss and hospital stays. In particular, this device can be used to conduct potentially curative minimally invasive partial nephrectomy for resectable benign and malignant TIA (<4cm) lesions in approximately 30 minutes from start to finish. Laser-assisted bonding is gentle, does not damage healthy native tissues and helps to improve postoperative outcomes because reduced tissue damage and scaring ultimately speeds patient healing. The device and process consists of using a laparoscopic hand-piece to deliver 810nm wavelength laser energy to coagulate and fuse two human albumin based bioabsorbable bio-materials to the tissues. The energy is dissipated within the bio-materials, leaving native parenchyma unscathed.

This technology has numerous other applications and can address all surgical procedures requiring hemostasis, sealing or joining of tissues. A variety of important unmet medical needs can also be addressed, as it is also capable of joining and repairing delicate structures such as nerves, providing hemostasis in patients on blood thinners requiring emergency surgery, or over bony surfaces (dental extraction) and controlling the leakage of a wide variety of fluids including gastrointestinal fluids, pancreatic juice, urine, bile, lymph, and even cerebrospinal fluid. These clinical applications are not amenable to any currently available technologies of compression and thermal ablation. 

The future and potential of this technology is vast, as it can be used wherever hemostasis, sealing or bonding of tissues is required. 

Yasmin Wadia, M.D. Hua Xie. M.D. Michio Kajitani, M.D.  Liver Repair and Hemorrhage Control by Using Laser Soldering of Liquid Albumin in a Porcine Model. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 27:319-328 (2000). Lasers in Surgery and Medicine Copyright © 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company

Yasmin Wadia, M.D., Hua Xie, M.D. Michio Kajitani, M.D. Sutureless Liver Repair and Hemorrhage Control Using Laser-Mediated Fusion of Human Albumin as a Solder. J. Trauma. 2001;51:51-59. The Journal of Trauma Copyright © 2001, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Kajitani M, Wadia Y, Hinds MT, Teach J, Swartz KR, Gregory KW. Successful repair of esophageal injury using an elastin based biomaterial patch. ASAIO Journal 07 / 2001, Volume: 47 (4), Pages: 342-345

Kajitani M, Wadia Y, Xie H, Hinds MT, Shalaby SW, Swartz KR, Gregory KW. Use of New Elastin Patch and Glue for Repair of Major Duodenal Injury. ASAIO Journal, 09 / 2000, Volume: 46, Pages: 409-414

Xie H, Shaffer BS, Wadia Y, Gregory KW.  Use of Reconstructed Small Intestine Submucosa for Urinary Tract Replacement. ASAIO Journal 2000; 46:268-272

Wadia, Yasmin; Xie, Hua; Kajitani, Michio; Gregory, Kenton W.; Prahl, Scott A. Hemostatic applications of laser welding: Liver repair and hemorrhage control.  January 2000 Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 3907 Lasers in Surgery: Advanced Characterization, Therapeutics, and Systems X

Disclosure: *The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the Laser Tissue Welding System for general use.