Researchers at McGill University in Canada have developed a bio-inspired suture that mimics the structure of human tendons. Gel-covered sutures are slippery and tough, reducing the damage caused by traditional sutures when used on soft tissues. Interestingly, the gel surface of the suture may enable advanced applications such as drug delivery, infection prevention, and even near-infrared imaging to assist in the placement and removal of suture during minimally invasive surgery. ..
Suturing to close a wound and help heal is an old technique with centuries of history, but suturing has not made much progress during that time. They are usually much harder than the soft tissue they are trying to repair and often cause tissue damage that leads to complications and patient discomfort. Moreover, apart from holding the wound together, conventional sutures usually do not provide a specific function to help it heal.
These researchers at McGill University have designed new types of sutures that may help overcome some of these problems. For inspiration, they examined the tendons of the human body. The tendons are strong but slippery, so there is little friction as they pass through other tissues in the body.
“Our design is inspired by the end-tenon sheath, which is a tough and tough human body due to its double network structure,” said researcher Zenway Ma. “While the elastin network strengthens it, it binds collagen fibers together.”
The new suture has a tough, flexible gel coating that allows it to slip through the tissue. To create new sutures, researchers coated commercially available braided surgical sutures with alginate-polyacrylamide hydrogel, which has excellent biocompatibility and toughness. The modified suture exhibited enhanced mechanical properties, including low stiffness and a slippery surface that reduced tissue friction during use.
Interestingly, sutures are also very versatile in terms of advanced applications, allowing researchers to incorporate a variety of substances into their gel coatings for therapeutic function. These include microparticles, antibacterial compounds, and fluorescent nanoparticles that respond to changes in the pH of infected tissue. Fluorescent nanoparticles make it possible to visualize sutures by near-infrared imaging. This can help with suture placement during minimally invasive surgery.
“This technology provides a versatile tool for advanced wound management. We believe it can be used to deliver drugs, prevent infections, and even monitor wounds with near-infrared imaging,” he said. Another researcher involved in the research, Jianyu Li, said. “The ability to locally monitor wounds and adjust treatment strategies for better healing is an exciting direction to explore.”
Study at Science Advances: Bio-inspired tough gel sheath for robust and versatile surface functionalization
via: McGill University
https://www.medgadget.com/2021/04/tendon-inspired-sutures-protect-fragile-tissues.html Tendon-inspired sutures protect fragile tissue