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Medicine Science

Joining Blood Vessels Without Sutures 54

Med-trump writes "Stanford microsurgeons have used a poloxamer gel and bioadhesive, rather than a needle and thread, to join together blood vessels. The technique, published in the recent issue of Nature Medicine, may replace the 100-year-old method of reconnecting severed blood vessels with sutures. According to the authors of the study, 'ultimately, this has the potential to improve patient care by decreasing amputations, strokes and heart attacks while reducing health-care costs.'"
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Joining Blood Vessels Without Sutures

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  • by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Monday August 29, 2011 @12:43PM (#37243048) Homepage
    According to TFA a major part of this is the use of a polymer that solidifies when heated but dissolves when it cools down. It is striking that we can not only have such weird substances but can have such substances that are also reasonably ok inside humans (that is, not poisonous and not triggering an immune response). The main advantages of this method is that it is faster than the normal method and that it can be applied to much smaller blood vessels. According to TFA, suturing is extremely difficult if not outright impossible for blood vessels that are smaller than 1 milimeter wide. The basic type of polymer has been used in various forms before to deliver drugs, so while this version is a modified version, it is unlikely that any very serious problems will crop up. Overall, this will be helpful in for both planned and emergency surgeries and should help reattach limbs and digits much more effectively. Right now when a finger is removed reattachment is a difficult process that often just fails. This should change that.
  • Re:Reducing Costs... (Score:5, Informative)

    by sgt scrub ( 869860 ) <(saintium) (at) (yahoo.com)> on Monday August 29, 2011 @12:46PM (#37243090)

    Canada is a AAA rated country. They can afford to give a shit.

  • by Iron Chef Unix ( 582472 ) on Monday August 29, 2011 @12:48PM (#37243118)
    It's not the glue that is novel in this application, but the use of a poloxamer gel to keep the vessel shape while attaching the ends.

    Imagine trying to glue together the open ends of two tube socks. It would be time consuming to line up the ends and not glue the other side together, etc. This technique is like putting a solid round canister inside the junction of the two tubes, making it very quick to line up the edges and glue them together.

    In this case the canister is a cylinder of poloxamer gel that is solid when warmed above body temperature. After the connection is glued, the gel cools and liquifies, leaving a perfectly glued joint.
  • by tonywong ( 96839 ) on Monday August 29, 2011 @01:32PM (#37243738) Homepage
    You must feed the trolls with Organic foods or Doc Bob will get his spine all bent out of shape.

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