Gingiva laser welding: Preliminary study on an ex vivo porcine model

Emilia Rasca, Catherine Nyssen-Behets, Marc Tielemans, André Peremans, Nordine Hendaoui, Daniel Heysselaer, Umberto Romeo, Samir Nammour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The use of lasers to fuse different tissues has been studied for 50 years. As none of these experiments concerned the oral soft tissues, our objective was to assess the feasibility of laser gingiva welding. Materials and Methods: Porcine full-thickness gingival flaps served to prepare calibrated samples in the middle of which a 2 cm long incision was closed, either by conventional suture or by laser tissue welding (LTW). To determine the irradiation conditions yielding the best tensile strength, 13 output power values, from 0.5 to 5 W, delivered either at 10 Hz or in continuous wave mode, were tested on six indocyanine green (ICG) concentrations, from 8% to 13% (588 samples). Then, some samples served to compare the tensile strength between the laser welded and the sutured gingiva; the other samples were histologically processed in order to evaluate the thermal damage extent. The temperature rise during the LTW was measured by thermocouples. Another group of 12 samples was used to measure the temperature elevation by thermal camera. Results: In the laser welding groups, the best tensile strength (p<0.05) was yielded by the 9% ICG saline solution (117 mM) at 4.5 W, 10 Hz, and a fluence of 31.3 kJ/cm2. The apposition strength revealed no statistically significant difference (p<0.05) between the sutured and the laser welded gingiva at 4.5 W, 10 Hz, and 9% ICG solution. The mean temperature was 74±5.4°C at the upper surface and 42±8.9°C at the lower surface. The damaged zone averaged 333 μm at the upper surface. Conclusions: The 808 nm diode laser associated with ICG can achieve oral mucosa LTW, which is conceivable as a promising technique of gingival repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-443
Number of pages7
JournalPhotomedicine and Laser Surgery
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2014


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