Modular stimuli-responsive hydrogel sealants for early gastrointestinal leak detection and containment.
Journal Paper/Review - Nov 27, 2022
Anthis Alexandre H C, Abundo Maria Paulene, Neuer Anna L, Tsolaki Elena, Rosendorf Jachym, Rduch Thomas, Starsich Fabian H L, Weisse Bernhard, Liska Vaclav, Schlegel Andrea, Shapiro Mikhail G, Herrmann Inge K
Millions of patients every year undergo gastrointestinal surgery. While often lifesaving, sutured and stapled reconnections leak in around 10% of cases. Currently, surgeons rely on the monitoring of surrogate markers and clinical symptoms, which often lack sensitivity and specificity, hence only offering late-stage detection of fully developed leaks. Here, we present a holistic solution in the form of a modular, intelligent suture support sealant patch capable of containing and detecting leaks early. The pH and/or enzyme-responsive triggerable sensing elements can be read out by point-of-need ultrasound imaging. We demonstrate reliable detection of the breaching of sutures, in as little as 3 hours in intestinal leak scenarios and 15 minutes in gastric leak conditions. This technology paves the way for next-generation suture support materials that seal and offer disambiguation in cases of anastomotic leaks based on point-of-need monitoring, without reliance on complex electronics or bulky (bio)electronic implantables.