You know the old saying, “a stitch in time saves nine”. Well, stitching up gaping wounds on one’s body used to be an essential skill that surgeons ought to have, as it helps close up a wound and prevent an infection. The thing is, stitches do leave scars that are rather unsightly even when healed, many years down the road, although the “thread” used to stitch humans up has evolved over the years that one needs not remove them any more once the wound has healed. Well, surgeons have taken the next step forward by pioneering what they call the ‘human welding’ technique that will rely on lasers and gold to get the job done.
The gold-based solder will be wrapped in a kind of material which is elastic, and it is capable of moving along with the body while creating a ‘liquid-tight’ seal which would do its bit to prevent harmful internal fluid from leaking out. The brains from the American Chemical Society have been testing out the gold-based sealing material on pig intestines to date, and they believe that it could replace traditional stitches and suture techniques. Calling it “laser tissue welding” (LTW), this will be a ‘stitch-free’ surgical method to connect and seal blood vessels, cartilage in joints, the liver, the urinary tract and other tissues. Sounds a whole lot less messy and painless, no?