In vitro quantitative study of newly made antibacterial braided nylon sutures

Surg Gynecol Obstet. 1987 Sep;165(3):207-11.


This study was done to examine quantitatively the antibacterial property of a newly made, silver compound coated braided nylon suture and to confirm the previously reported qualitative antibacterial data. Three representative bacterial species were used and they were Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The suture specimens were embedded in a custom built plastic device filled with a fixed concentration of bacteria for predetermined periods of incubation. A direct current ranging from 0.4 to 40.0 microamperes was applied to the suture specimens. The bacterial suspension was periodically removed for a standard plate count in order to determine quantitatively the antibacterial capability of the suture specimens. The amounts of silver ions released to the medium under various direct current levels were also determined by a pH/ion meter. The antibacterial property of the suture was evident in the anode site of the material, and at a fixed current, the degree of bacteriostatic effect depended upon the type of bacterial species. For example, a difference of almost 10(3) in the number of Pseudomonas aeruginosa was observed within a period of six hours. The responses of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli to the silver compound coated nylon thread, however, were not as drastic as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These quantitative data were consistent with the previously reported qualitative observation of the width of clear zone in bacterial culture plates. The silver ion concentration in the medium increased with increasing either the current level or time, or both. At the end of six hours, the ion concentrations were 7.3 micrograms per milliliter at 0.4 microampere, 44.3 micrograms per milliliter at 4.0 microamperes and 305.7 micrograms per milliliter at 40.0 microampere.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents*
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Nylons*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Silver / pharmacology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Sutures*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Nylons
  • Silver