In vivo carotid artery closure by laser activation of hyaluronan-embedded gold nanorods

Paolo Matteini, Fulvio Ratto, Francesca Rossi, Giacomo Rossi, Giuseppe Esposito, Alfredo Puca, Alessio Albanese, Giulio Maira, Roberto Pini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We prove the first application of near-infrared-absorbing gold nanorods (GNRs) for in vivo laser closure of a rabbit carotid artery. GNRs are first functionalized with a biopolymeric shell and then embedded in hyaluronan, which gives a stabilized and handy laser-activable formulation. Four rabbits undergo closure of a 3-mm longitudinal incision performed on the carotid artery by means of a 810-nm diode laser in conjunction with the topical application of the GNRs composite. An effective surgery is obtained by using a 40-W/cm 2 laser power density. The histological and electron microscopy evaluation after a 30-day follow-up demonstrates complete healing of the treated arteries with full re-endothelization at the site of GNRs application. The absence of microgranuloma formation and/or dystrophic calcification is evidence that no host reaction to nanoparticles interspersed through the vascular tissue occurred. The observation of a reshaping and associated blue shift of the NIR absorption band of GNRs after laser treatment supports the occurrence of a selfterminating process, and thus of additional safety of the minimally invasive laser procedure. This study underlines the feasibility of using GNRs for in vivo laser soldering applications, which represents a step forward toward the introduction of nanotechnology-based therapies in minimally invasive clinical practices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number041508
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


  • Gold nanorods
  • Hyaluronan
  • Laser soldering
  • Photothermal effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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