Laser bonding is a promising minimally invasive approach, emerging as a valid alternative to conventional suturing techniques. It shows widely demonstrated advantages in wound treatment: immediate closuring effect, minimal inflammatory response and scar formation, reduced healing time. This laser based technique can overcome the difficulties in working through narrow surgical corridors (e.g. the modern “key-hole” surgery as well as the endoscopy setting) or in thin tissues that are impossible to treat with staples and/or stitches. We recently proposed the use of chitosan matrices, stained with conventional chromophores, to be used in laser bonding of vascular tissue. In this work we propose the same procedure to perform laser bonding of vocal folds and dura mater repair. Laser bonding of vocal folds is proposed to avoid the development of adhesions (synechiae), after conventional or CO2 laser surgery. Laser bonding application in neurosurgery is proposed for the treatment of dural defects being the Cerebro Spinal Fluid leaks still a major issue.
Vocal folds and dura mater were harvested from 9-months old porks and used in the experimental sessions within 4 hours after sacrifice.
In vocal folds treatment, an IdocyanineGreen-infused chitosan patch was applied onto the anterior commissure, while the dura mater was previously incised and then bonded. A diode laser emitting at 810 nm, equipped with a 600 μm diameter optical fiber was used to weld the patch onto the tissue, by delivering single laser spots to induce local patch/tissue adhesion. The result is an immediate adhesion of the patch to the tissue. Standard histology was performed, in order to study the induced photothermal effect at the bonding sites. This preliminary experimental activity shows the advantages of the proposed technique in respect to standard surgery: simplification of the procedure; decreased foreign-body reaction; reduced inflammatory response; reduced operating times and better handling in depth.