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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants
SJR: 0.332 SNIP: 0.491 CiteScore™: 0.89

ISSN Print: 1050-6934
ISSN Online: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.v11.i12.50
14 pages

An Innovative Absorbable Coating for the Polybutester Suture

George T. Rodeheaver
Plastic Surgery Research Program, Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA, USA
Adam L. Shimer
Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Box 332, Charlottesville, VA 22908
Lucy M. Boyd
Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Box 332, Charlottesville, VA 22908
David B. Drake
Associate Professor of Plastic Surgery & Orthopedic Surgery. University of Virginia Health System PO Box 800376 Charlottesville VA 22908-0376, USA
Richard Edlich
Legacy Verified Level I Shock Trauma Center Pediatrics and Adults, Legacy Emanual Hospital; and Plastic Surgery, Biomedical Engineering and Emergency Medicine, University of Virginia Health System, USA

ABSTRACT

The polybutester (PBE) suture has been coated with an absorbable polytribolate polymer that is composed of glycolide (9%), ε-caprolactone (51%), and poloxamer 188 (40%) to reduce its drag forces. It is the purpose of this study to document the influence of this coating on the biomechanical performance of both PBE sutures and polypropylene (PP) sutures. The performance parameters evaluated were breaking strength, elongation, stiffness, knot security, knot run down, and tissue drag. The breaking strength of PP sutures was remarkably similar to that of coated and uncoated PBE sutures. In size 5/0 PP sutures, the sutures exhibited considerably greater elongation at knot break than did comparably sized PBE sutures. The PBE suture elongated under low loads, but returned to its original length when the load was removed. In contrast, the PP suture elongated irreversibly at high loads, exhibiting creep. Coated and uncoated PBE sutures exhibited less stiffness than PP sutures and exhibited limited memory after removal from the suture package. Coating the PBE suture markedly reduced its drag forces in musculoaponeurotic, colonic, and vascular tissue. Knot security with the coated PBE suture was achieved with only one more throw than with comparably sized uncoated PBE sutures. On the basis of the results of this study, coating the PBE suture represents another major advance in suture performance.