The human tendon has inspired a new suture that could abolish the risks related to existing wound closure approaches.
Current sutures have rigid fibres that can damage soft tissues; thus, a team at McGill University in Canada created a gel sheathed (TGS) substitute with a rugged, slippery gel envelope that mimics the construction of soft connective tissues.
“The human tendon inspires a new suture that could abolish the risks related to wound closure approaches.“
The researchers discovered that the nearly frictionless gel surface of the TGS sutures reduced the pain and post-surgery complications commonly associated with conventional sutures. According to researchers from McGill and the INRS Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre, part of the problem stems from a mismatch amongst human soft tissues and the rigid sutures that brush across touching the tissue.
The team devised a new technology that mimics the dynamics of tendons to solve the problem.
In a tendon injury, the endotenon sheath forms a slippery surface to minimise contact with surrounding tissues in joints while still delivering required materials for tissue repair. TGS sutures may also be engineered to provide personalised medication depending on a patient's needs, according to the researchers.
A PhD student under the supervision of Assistant Professor Jianyu Li at McGill University, lead author Zhenwei Ma, stated: “Our design is inspired by the human body, the endotenon sheath, which is both tough and strong due to its double-network structure. It binds collagen fibres together while its elastin network strengthens it. This technology provides a versatile tool for advanced wound management. We believe it could be used to deliver drugs, prevent infections, or even monitor wounds with near-infrared imaging. The ability to monitor wounds locally and adjust the treatment strategy for better healing is an exciting direction to explore.”See all the latest jobs in Service Engineering