Background: We describe the development of a highly elastic and adhesive surgical tissue sealant, based on photochemically crosslinked gelatin, for sealing sutured incisions in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract in a rabbit surgical model and in a canine colon anastomosis study.
Methods: The study included in vitro assessment of mechanical parameters of the tissue sealant and in vivo analysis of burst strength and histology at 24 h, 3 days and 7 days post surgery, in a rabbit model, to assess progress of wound healing at the suture sites. Utility of this sealant to repair and seal a lower colonic resection and anastomosis procedure in a canine model was also investigated.
Results: We show that a photopolymerised gelatin tissue sealant provides effective sealing of GI incisions and facilitates wound healing with no evidence of inflammation up to 28 days post-surgery. Blending of derivatised gelatin with underivatised gelatin allowed tuning of elasticity and elastic modulus of the photopolymerised sealant to suit surgical applications. High tissue adhesive strength was maintained at all blend ratios and exceeded 100 kPa.
Conclusions: This highly elastic and adhesive photopolymerised gelatin tissue sealant offers a number of advantages over currently available sealants suitable for GI surgical procedures.