Surgical tissue fusion devices ligate blood vessels using thermal energy and coaptation pressure, while the molecular mechanisms underlying tissue fusion remain unclear. This study characterizes the influence of apposition force during fusion on bond strength, tissue temperature, and seal morphology. Porcine splenic arteries were thermally fused at varying apposition forces (10–500 N). Maximum bond strengths were attained at 40 N of apposition force. Bonds formed between 10 and 50 N contained laminated medial layers; those formed above 50 N contained only adventitia. These findings suggest that commercial fusion devices operate at greater than optimal apposition forces, and that constituents of the tunica media may alter the adhesive mechanics of the fusion mechanism.

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