An advanced 3D monofilament biosuture

South African Pharmaceutical Journal 2020 Volume 87, Number 1, Cum Laude

Sutures are one of the most widely used medical devices with employment in over 12 million procedures per year globally.1 Yet, the ideal suture material does not exist. Over the years scientists and surgeons alike have set out to find a suture material that is biocompatible, easy to handle, does not cause unnecessary tissue damage and creates an optimal environment for wound healing.2 This has led to the discovery of numerous suture materials ranging from silk and catgut in the early 1800s to synthetic polymers such as polylactic acid and polyglycolide that are currently in use.3 Sutures on the market today are associated with distinct disadvantages that threaten the success of the procedures they are used in. For example, sutures consisting of polyglactin have been found to cause severe tissue damage and necrosis through the release of acidic degradation products that result in strong inflammatory responses.4 Additionally, most suture materials are multifilament or braided materials that tend to cut through tissues causing cellular damage and extending the time of wound healing.5 Suture-related complications have been implicated in numerous clinical problems such as hematoma formation, pulmonary embolisms and false aneurysms. A retrospective study done by Starr et al., ound that 26 of 39 false aneurysm cases could be directly ascribed to insufficiencies in the suture material.6 There is, therefore, a clear yet understated need for a superior suture material that can limit suture-related complications and improve the success rate of surgical procedures.