A Novel Sutureless Anastomotic Device in a Swine Model: A Proof of Concept Study

Kimberly A. Gerling*, David P. Stonko, Helen Xun, Christopher Shallal, Sung Hoon Kang, Gerald Brandacher, Alexis L. Lauria, Alexander J. Kersey, David M. Burmeister, Brandon W. Propper, Justin M. Sacks, Caitlin W. Hicks, Joseph M. White

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Vascular reconstruction requires technical expertise and is often time consuming. As a novel alternative to traditional hand-sewn vascular anastomoses, the VasoLock (VL), is a nonabsorbable, sutureless anastomosis device with traction anchors designed to hold free artery ends together. These anchors do not penetrate the vessel wall but adhere by leveraging the elasticity of the vessels to fasten blood vessels together. This pilot study assesses the performance and patency of this novel device in a porcine model of femoral artery injury. Methods: Female swine (n = 7) underwent femoral artery exposure for a total of 10 VL implanted. Study animals underwent hemodilution to a target hematocrit of 15% and ROTEM was used to assess coagulopathy, followed by an arterial injury via transection. The VL was inserted without any sutures. Flow-probe monitors were positioned proximal and distal to the device and flow rates were measured continuously for a total of 90 min. Flow was analyzed and presented as a ratio of distal to proximal flow with the slope of this ratio across time subsequently determined. Angiographic assessment was completed to evaluate for patency and technical complications after 90 min of implant. Results: The average animal weight was 44.1 ± 3.2 kg. The average mean arterial pressure at the time of implant was 51.2 ± 7.8 mmHg, median heart rate was 77.4 (IQR = 77.25-157.4) beats per minute, and average temperature was 36.1 ± 1.5°C. The baseline hematocrit was 13.5 ± 3.0%, average pH was 7.20 ± 0.1, average clotting time was 154.1 ± 58.7 s and average clot formation time was 103.4 ± 10.9 s all demonstrating the acidotic, hypothermic, and coagulopathic state of the swine at the time of insertion. During the 90-min observation period, the average flow gradient identified across the VL was 0.99 ± 0.24, indicating no significant change in flow across the VL. The average slope of the gradients was 0.0005 (P = 0.22), suggesting the ratio of proximal and distal flow did not change over the 90 min. Following 90 min of dwell time, all VL were patent without technical complication. Angiographic assessment at 90 min demonstrated no evidence of dissection, device migration, arterial extravasation, or thromboembolism with any of the 10 devices. Conclusions: This pilot study demonstrated technical feasibility of the novel VL device over a 90-min observation period. All VL were patent and no negative events or complications were identified. This technology demonstrated significant promise in a coagulopathic state: additional investigation, involving long-term survival, is warranted for further validation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-123
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Volume291
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Distal perfusion
  • Hemorrhage
  • Sutured anastomosis
  • Vascular anastomosis
  • Vascular injury

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