Summer 2013 - Fall 2014Tissue fusion device success is contingent upon the strength of the bond it creates between opposing sides of the blood vessel lumen. While strength may indicate potential for failure of bonded tissues in vivo, little characterization has been done to measure the strength of this interface or ECM alterations which create the fusion. Previous studies have examined the strength of tissue fusion using clinically relevant metrics such as sealed vessel burst pressure or tearing strength, but none have explored metrics more appropriate for determining the mechanics of the actual bond such as peel strength. One goal of the proposed research is to measure the bond’s modulus and strength using standard engineering methods while varying input energy, pressure and sealing duration. A longer-term (starting work in 1-2 years) goal of our collaborative team is to extend our research to fusing torn ligament tissue and especially for anterior cruciate ligament repair. Overall, the proposed research project seeks to provide new insight into the: (1) role of biochemical and physical alterations of ECM structural proteins on the sealed bond strength; (2) specific thermal, structural and chemical response of tissue to different energy delivery stimuli; and (3) interactive effects of input energy and applied pressure on the sealed bond.