Kochevar Lab Researh at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine is developing light-activated protein crosslinking technology for attaching tissue surfaces with a water-tight, strong bond and for forming engineered tissues with unique properties.  For attaching tissues, the technology is called Photochemical Tissue Bonding (PTB). PTB has demonstrated advantages over conventional sutures, staples and glues in a wide variety of surgeries. 

The Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital is the world’s largest academic research facility dedicated to investigating the effects of light on human biology and to the development of light-mediated, minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic technologies.

Photochemical Tissue Bonding Process

In the PTB process, a light-sensitive dye is applied to the tissue surfaces, the surfaces are placed in contact and the dye-stained area is exposed to visible radiation that does not cause thermal damage. An immediate, water-tight strong bond is produced without additional glues or proteins.

Photocrosslinking of proteins has significant advantages over sutures and staples for tissue repair:
   –  PTB does not stimulate inflammation or cause additional damage to tissue, thus reducing fibrosis and scarring.
   –  Very small structures that require time-consuming microsurgery can be rapidly joined with less damage using PTB.
   –  Soft, delicate, difficult-to-suture tissues can be readily joined with PTB.
   –  An immediate, water-tight seal is formed.

Photochemical crosslinking of proteins also has significant advantages over chemical crosslinking for bioengineered tissues:
   –  Degree of crosslinking can be controlled by amount of light delivered
   –  Crosslinking stops when light is turned off
   –  Non-toxic for cells within the gel

Source: Kochevar Lab Research