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J Biomech. 2010 Jan 19;43(2):302-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2009.08.033. Epub 2009 Nov 1.

Optimizing the tissue anchoring performance of barbed sutures in skin and tendon tissues.

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Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science, College of Textiles, 2401 Research Drive, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-8301, USA.


The focus of the current work was to study how the geometric design of a single barbed monofilament suture effects its biomechanical behavior. Different cut angles and cut depths of barbs were prepared and tested in vitro for their tensile and tissue anchoring properties by means of a novel suture/tissue pullout test. Experiments were also performed using bovine tendon and porcine skin tissues. The experimental results revealed that since tendon tissue has a higher modulus than skin it needs a more rigid barb to penetrate and anchor the surrounding tissue. A cut angle of 150 degrees and a cut depth of 0.18 mm are therefore recommended. On the other hand, for the softer skin tissue, a cut angle of 170 degrees and a cut depth of 0.18 mm provides a more flexible barb that gives superior skin tissue anchoring. These findings confirm that the future development of barbed suture technology requires a detailed understanding of the biomechanical properties of the tissue in which they are to be used. This will lead to the future development of a range of tissue-specific barbed sutures.

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