Development of a minimally invasive, injectable, shape memory suture and delivery system

Ann Biomed Eng. 2012 Jul;40(7):1520-9. doi: 10.1007/s10439-012-0508-5. Epub 2012 Jan 19.


Suturing in space-confined surgical settings encountered during microsurgical procedures can be technically complex and time intensive. This paper presents the development of a new injector and new shape-memory alloy clip that can replace conventional suture. Engineering and surgical assessments of the injector and clips were performed. A prototype of the delivery system was tested in simulated surgical settings and compared to conventional suturing techniques for surgical time and wound strength. In various micro-surgical scenarios, the new injectable system proved to be 5 to 20-times more efficient and to have wound strengths over three-times that of conventional suturing. Further, the wounds closed by the shape-memory alloy clips could be forced to open and then recover to a watertight state, unlike conventional sutures which break upon failure. This new injector and shape-memory alloy clips proved to be quicker, stronger, and technically easier than conventional suturing. Future work is underway to test the injectable delivery system and the shape-memory alloy clips using a real-time, in vivo porcine model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures / instrumentation*
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Suture Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Sutures*