Surgical site infections cause significant postoperative morbidity and increased healthcare costs. Bioadhesives used to fill surgical voids and support wound healing are typically devoid of antibacterial activity. Here we report novel syringe-injectable bioadhesive hydrogels with inherent antibacterial properties prepared from mixing polydextran aldehyde and branched polyethylenimine. These adhesives kill both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, while sparing human erythrocytes. An optimal composition of 2.5?wt% oxidized dextran and 6.9?wt% polyethylenimine sets within seconds forming a mechanically rigid (~1,700?Pa) gel offering a maximum adhesive stress of ~2.8?kPa. A murine infection model showed that the adhesive is capable of killing Streptococcus pyogenes introduced subcutaneously at the bioadhesive's surface, with minimal inflammatory response. The adhesive was also effective in a cecal ligation and puncture model, preventing sepsis and significantly improving survival. These bioadhesives represent novel, inherently antibacterial materials for wound-filling applications.
Refinements in microsurgical techniques coupled with advances in immunosuppressive and immunomodulatory protocols have enabled broader clinical application of vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA) with encouraging immunological, functional, and esthetic results. However, skin rejection remains a significant obstacle and a serious complication for VCA recipients. Clinical and histopathological features of rejection in VCA have been described in a number of studies, which led to the development of an international consensus on the classification guidelines of rejection in the context of VCA. Nevertheless, currently available diagnostic modalities still have several limitations and shortcomings that can pose a significant diagnostic challenge, particularly when signs of rejection are found to be equivocal. In this review, we provide a critical analysis of these advances and challenges in diagnosing skin rejection. Specifically, we highlight the gaps in understanding of rejection mechanisms, the shortfalls in correlating cellular, molecular, and clinicopathologic markers with rejection grades, deficiencies in defining chronic rejection, and antibody-mediated rejection after VCA, as well as providing an outlook on novel concepts, such as the utilization of advanced computational analyses and cross-disciplinary diagnostic approaches.
Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation (VCA) such as hand and face transplants represent a viable treatment option for complex musculoskeletal trauma and devastating tissue loss. Despite favorable and highly encouraging early and intermediate functional outcomes, rejection of the highly immunogenic skin component of a VCA and potential adverse effects of chronic multi-drug immunosuppression continue to hamper widespread clinical application of VCA. Therefore, research in this novel field needs to focus on translational studies related to unique immunologic features of VCA and to develop novel immunomodulatory strategies for immunomodulation and tolerance induction following VCA without the need for long term immunosuppression. This article describes a reliable and reproducible translational large animal model of VCA that is comprised of an osteomyocutaneous flap in a MHC-defined swine heterotopic hind limb allotransplantation. Briefly, a well-vascularized skin paddle is identified in the anteromedial thigh region using near infrared laser angiography. The underlying muscles, knee joint, distal femur, and proximal tibia are harvested on a femoral vascular pedicle. This allograft can be considered both a VCA and a vascularized bone marrow transplant with its unique immune privileged features. The graft is transplanted to a subcutaneous abdominal pocket in the recipient animal with a skin component exteriorized to the dorsolateral region for immune monitoring. Three surgical teams work simultaneously in a well-coordinated manner to reduce anesthesia and ischemia times, thereby improving efficiency of this model and reducing potential confounders in experimental protocols. This model serves as the groundwork for future therapeutic strategies aimed at reducing and potentially eliminating the need for chronic multi-drug immunosuppression in VCA.
Vascular and microvascular anastomoses are critical components of reconstructive microsurgery, vascular surgery, and transplant surgery. Intraoperative surgical guidance using a surgical imaging modality that provides an in-depth view and three-dimensional (3-D) imaging can potentially improve outcome following both conventional and innovative anastomosis techniques. Objective postoperative imaging of the anastomosed vessel can potentially improve the salvage rate when combined with other clinical assessment tools, such as capillary refill, temperature, blanching, and skin turgor. Compared to other contemporary postoperative monitoring modalities--computed tomography angiograms, magnetic resonance (MR) angiograms, and ultrasound Doppler--optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a noninvasive high-resolution (micron-level), high-speed, 3-D imaging modality that has been adopted widely in biomedical and clinical applications. For the first time, to the best of our knowledge, the feasibility of real-time 3-D phase-resolved Doppler OCT (PRDOCT) as an assisted intra- and postoperative imaging modality for microvascular anastomosis of rodent femoral vessels is demonstrated, which will provide new insights and a potential breakthrough to microvascular and supermicrovascular surgery.
Wider application of vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA) is limited by the need for chronic immunosuppression. Recent data suggest that the lymphatic system plays an important role in mediating rejection. This study used near-infrared (NIR) lymphography to describe lymphatic reconstitution in a rat VCA model. Syngeneic (Lewis-Lewis) and allogeneic (Brown Norway-Lewis) rat orthotopic hind limb transplants were performed without immunosuppression. Animals were imaged pre- and postoperatively using indocyanine green (ICG) lymphography. Images were collected using an NIR imaging system. Co-localization was achieved through use of an acrylic paint/hydrogen peroxide mixture. In all transplants, ICG first crossed graft suture lines on postoperative day (POD) 5. Clinical signs of rejection also appeared on POD 5 in allogeneic transplants, with most exhibiting Grade 3 rejection by POD 6. Injection of an acrylic paint/hydrogen peroxide mixture on POD 5 confirmed the existence of continuous lymphatic vessels crossing the suture line and draining into the inguinal lymph node. NIR lymphography is a minimally invasive imaging modality that can be used to study lymphatic vessels in a rat VCA model. In allogeneic transplants, lymphatic reconstitution correlated with clinical rejection. Lymphatic reconstitution may represent an early target for immunomodulation.
Advances in microsurgical techniques and immunomodulatory protocols have contributed to the expansion of vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA) with very encouraging immunological, functional, and cosmetic results. Rejection remains however a major hurdle that portends serious threats to recipients. Rejection features in VCA have been described in a number of studies, and an international consensus on the classification of rejection was established. Unfortunately, current available diagnostic methods carry many shortcomings that, in certain cases, pose a great diagnostic challenge to physicians especially in borderline rejection cases. In this review, we revisit the features of acute skin rejection in hand and face transplantation at the clinical, cellular, and molecular levels. The multiple challenges in diagnosing rejection and in defining chronic and antibody-mediated rejection in VCA are then presented, and we finish by analyzing current research directions and novel concepts aiming at improving available diagnostic measures.
Reconstructive transplantation such as extremity and face transplantation is a viable treatment option for select patients with devastating tissue loss. Sensorimotor recovery is a critical determinant of overall success of such transplants. Although motor function recovery has been extensively studied, mechanisms of sensory re-innervation are not well established. Recent clinical reports of face transplants confirm progressive sensory improvement even in cases where optimal repair of sensory nerves was not achieved. Two forms of sensory nerve regeneration are known. In regenerative sprouting, axonal outgrowth occurs from the transected nerve stump while in collateral sprouting, reinnervation of denervated tissue occurs through growth of uninjured axons into the denervated tissue. The latter mechanism may be more important in settings where transected sensory nerves cannot be re-apposed. In this study, denervated osteomyocutaneous alloflaps (hind- limb transplants) from Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC)-defined MGH miniature swine were performed to specifically evaluate collateral axonal sprouting for cutaneous sensory re-innervation. The skin component of the flap was externalized and serial skin sections extending from native skin to the grafted flap were biopsied. In order to visualize regenerating axonal structures in the dermis and epidermis, 50um frozen sections were immunostained against axonal and Schwann cell markers. In all alloflaps, collateral axonal sprouts from adjacent recipient skin extended into the denervated skin component along the dermal-epidermal junction from the periphery towards the center. On day 100 post-transplant, regenerating sprouts reached 0.5 cm into the flap centripetally. Eight months following transplant, epidermal fibers were visualized 1.5 cm from the margin (rate of regeneration 0.06 mm per day). All animals had pinprick sensation in the periphery of the transplanted skin within 3 months post-transplant. Restoration of sensory input through collateral axonal sprouting can revive interaction with the environment; restore defense mechanisms and aid in cortical re-integration of vascularized composite allografts.
Survival benefit of cytoreductive surgery combined with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion was demonstrated by a prospective randomized trial for colorectal peritoneal carcinomatosis. Because of a recent substantial improvement in chemotherapy, the authors analyzed treatment options of colorectal carcinomatosis in the current era.
The authors describe the development of an ultrafast three-dimensional (3D) optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging system that provides real-time intraoperative video images of the surgical site to assist surgeons during microsurgical procedures. This system is based on a full-range complex conjugate free Fourier-domain OCT (FD-OCT). The system was built in a CPU-GPU heterogeneous computing architecture capable of video OCT image processing. The system displays at a maximum speed of 10 volume/s for an image volume size of 160 × 80 × 1024(X × Y × Z) pixels. We have used this system to visualize and guide two prototypical microsurgical maneuvers: microvascular anastomosis of the rat femoral artery and ultramicrovascular isolation of the retinal arterioles of the bovine retina. Our preliminary experiments using 3D-OCT-guided microvascular anastomosis showed optimal visualization of the rat femoral artery (diameter<0.8 mm), instruments, and suture material. Real-time intraoperative guidance helped facilitate precise suture placement due to optimized views of the vessel wall during anastomosis. Using the bovine retina as a model system, we have performed "ultra microvascular" feasibility studies by guiding handheld surgical micro-instruments to isolate retinal arterioles (diameter ~0.1 mm). Isolation of the microvessels was confirmed by successfully passing a suture beneath the vessel in the 3D imaging environment.
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