A crew of researchers led by Nanyang Technological College, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has developed a tool that provides a faster and fewer invasive method to seal tears and holes in blood vessels, utilizing an electrically-activated glue patch utilized through a minimally invasive balloon catheter.
This machine might ultimately exchange the necessity for open or keyhole surgical procedure to patch up or sew collectively inside blood vessel defects.
After inserting the catheter into an applicable blood vessel, the glue patch — nicknamed ‘Voltaglue’ — will be guided by way of the physique to the place the tear is situated after which activated utilizing retractable electrodes to connect it shut in a couple of minutes, all with out making a single surgical minimize.
Patented by NTU and Massachusetts Institute of Know-how (MIT) scientists, Voltaglue is a brand new kind of adhesive that works in moist environments and hardens when a voltage is utilized to it.
The catheter machine that deploys Voltaglue is collectively developed by Affiliate Professor Terry Steele from the NTU Faculty of Supplies Science and Engineering, former NTU PhD pupil Dr Manisha Singh, now at MIT, and Affiliate Professor Ellen Roche from the Division of Mechanical Engineering and Institute for Medical Engineering and Science at MIT, USA.
This catheter machine is the primary proof-of-concept software of Voltaglue in a medical setting because it was invented by Assoc Prof Steele in 2015.
Their analysis was revealed within the peer-reviewed scientific journal Science Advances in April.
Assoc Prof Steele mentioned: “The system that we developed is probably the reply to the presently unmet medical want for a minimally-invasive method to restore arteriovenous fistulas (an irregular connection between an artery and a vein) or vascular leaks, with out the necessity for open surgical procedure. With Voltaglue and the catheter machine, we open up the potential for not having to make surgical incisions to patch one thing up inside — we will ship a catheter-based machine by way of to do the job.”
A brand new method to mend damaged blood vessels
The catheter system is made up of two elements:
i) The adhesive patch containing Voltaglue referred to as ePATCH, which is utilized to the catheter’s balloon,
ii) a modified catheter with retractable wires that carry electrical present, named CATRE.
The crew confirmed in lab experiments on a pig’s coronary heart that the Voltaglue patch will be safely and successfully administered in a wide range of conditions, together with withstanding the excessive pulsatile strain of blood in arteries just like the aorta.
The machine was used to shut a three mm defect in an explanted pig aorta linked to a mock coronary heart below steady stream of blood of 10 ml per minute.
The versatile catheter is first inserted and guided by way of the blood vessel. As soon as on the web site of the break, the balloon is expanded in order that the harm is roofed by the Voltaglue patch.
A small electrical cost is shipped by way of the 2 wires to activate the patch. The glue’s hardness will be adjusted by altering the quantity of voltage utilized to it, a course of referred to as electrocuring. This permits the patch to adapt to varied kinds of tissue surfaces, from comparatively clean aortic tissue to extra irregular, uneven surfaces of artificial vascular grafts.
The patch begins to set after 20 seconds and totally hardens between three to five minutes. Upon hardening, the patch successfully ‘glues’ the damaged vessel collectively, thereby sealing the 2 damaged ends shut. The wires, deflated balloon, and catheter are then withdrawn.
On this experiment, the crew left the patch on the pig coronary heart for 1,000 physiological stress/pressure cycles (heartbeats), which, at 70 beats per minute, was round 15 minutes. When the aorta was examined after the experiment, the patch was discovered to be nonetheless efficiently sealing the hole.
The paper’s first writer Dr Manisha Singh, previously from NTU Faculty of Supplies Science and Engineering, mentioned: “Voltaglue is not like different adhesives available in the market as it’s voltage-activated, is secure in moist environments and might stick onto gentle tissue, making it appropriate and efficient for repairing blood vessels. By combining it with present, commercially out there catheters, we have now developed a brand new supply mechanism that’s minimally invasive, but versatile and adaptable. This technique exhibits promise for a various vary of medical functions, because the suitability of the patch might be tailor-made in line with the wants of the affected person.”
A secure method to patch up tears in a wide range of organs and vessels
The catheter is designed to be used in vessels starting from 7.5 to 30 mm in measurement, making it appropriate for sealing defects in organs and vessels such because the aorta, gut, and oesophagus.
Each Voltaglue and the patch are made with bioresorbable materials, that are fully degradable and dissolve after a number of weeks.
These properties make the catheter appropriate for potential functions equivalent to vascular grafting, a standard surgical process to redirect blood stream from one space to a different, or to seal off blood stream to tumours, to be able to kill them off.
Giving an unbiased touch upon this innovation, Affiliate Professor Andrew Chin, senior marketing consultant within the Division of Hand and Reconstructive Microsurgery at Singapore Normal Hospital, mentioned: “The medical software of this machine in supply of bio-adhesive has large potential not only for vascular anastomoses (vessel connection), however different gentle tissue fixation which considerably cuts down on the time taken to finish at this present time limit the place suture supplies are getting used.”
Drawing on their findings, the researchers foresee that the catheter machine could sometime be used to ship patches to restore delivery defects equivalent to holes within the wall of the center.
The analysis crew has filed a joint patent for this machine, shared between MIT and NTUitive, NTU’s innovation and enterprise firm.
The industrial potential of the catheter system highlights NTU’s dedication to innovation in its just lately introduced 2025 strategic plan, which goals to translate analysis into merchandise and outcomes that improve the standard of life.