Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Nanotechnol. 2016 Jan;11(1):95-102. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2015.238. Epub 2015 Nov 2.

A multiphase transitioning peptide hydrogel for suturing ultrasmall vessels.

Author information

Chemical Biology Laboratory, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, Maryland 21702, USA.
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716, USA.
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation (VCA) Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21287, USA.
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218, USA.
Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21287, USA.


Many surgeries are complicated by the need to anastomose, or reconnect, micrometre-scale vessels. Although suturing remains the gold standard for anastomosing vessels, it is difficult to place sutures correctly through collapsed lumen, making the procedure prone to failure. Here, we report a multiphase transitioning peptide hydrogel that can be injected into the lumen of vessels to facilitate suturing. The peptide, which contains a photocaged glutamic acid, forms a solid-like gel in a syringe and can be shear-thin delivered to the lumen of collapsed vessels (where it distends the vessel) and the space between two vessels (where it is used to approximate the vessel ends). Suturing is performed directly through the gel. Light is used to initiate the final gel-sol phase transition that disrupts the hydrogel network, allowing the gel to be removed and blood flow to resume. This gel adds a new tool to the armamentarium for micro- and supermicrosurgical procedures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center