Suture materials - Current and emerging trends

J Biomed Mater Res A. 2016 Jun;104(6):1544-59. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.35683. Epub 2016 Apr 4.


Surgical sutures are used to facilitate closure and healing of surgical- or trauma-induced wounds by upholding tissues together to facilitate healing process. There is a wide range of suture materials for medical purpose and the main types include absorbable and nonabsorbable. Recently, there is a growth in the development of classes of suture materials based on their properties and capabilities to improve tissue approximation and wound closure. This review outlines and discusses the current and emerging trends in suture technology including knotless barbed sutures, antimicrobial sutures, bio-active sutures such as drug-eluting and stem cells seeded sutures, and smart sutures including elastic, and electronic sutures. These newer strategies expand the versatility of sutures from being used as just a physical entity approximating opposing tissues to a more biologically active component enabling delivery of drugs and cells to the desired site with immense application potential in both therapeutics and diagnostics. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 104A: 1544-1559, 2016.

Keywords: antimicrobial sutures; barbed sutures; drug-eluting sutures; smart sutures; sutures.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Biocompatible Materials / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Suture Techniques / trends*
  • Sutures*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations