Newly made antibacterial braided nylon sutures. I. In vitro qualitative and in vivo preliminary biocompatibility study

J Biomed Mater Res. 1987 Nov;21(11):1281-300. doi: 10.1002/jbm.820211102.


A new type of braided nylon thread with a silver compound coating was made for the purpose of designing a biocidal suture material. The study used standard bacterial culture techniques to evaluate the antibacterial property of the new Ag-coated nylon thread. Seven types of bacterial species were tested; S. aureus, E. coli, P. aeruginosa, K. pneumoniae, S. dysenteriae, S. maruslens, and P. mirabilis. The commercial size 2/0 Nurolon suture from Ethicon served as the control. A weak direct current ranging from 0.4-400 microA was applied to the specimens to examine whether the biocidal property of silver could be enhanced by current. The antibacterial property was evaluated by the width and sterility of the clear zone in the bacterial culture plates. It was found that the new nylon thread exhibited very good to moderate bactericidal property toward these seven bacterial species. P. aeruginosa was the most sensitive species, while P. mirabilis was the least sensitive one. Application of direct current through the Ag-coated specimens positively enhanced their antibacterial property and the degree of enhancement depended on the direct current level. The material also exhibited an antibacterial property toward well-established bacterial colonies, but the effect was less strong than the case when direct current was applied simultaneously with incubation. Silver ions released from the coated nylon thread were responsible for the observed antibacterial property; and the application of a weak direct current to the material enhanced this effect. A preliminary biocompatibility study of this new material in rat gluteal muscle indicated that the new material caused less inflammatory reaction than the control Nurolon suture up to 60 days after implantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Electricity
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / etiology
  • Materials Testing*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Nylons
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Silver / pharmacology*
  • Sutures* / adverse effects
  • Tensile Strength


  • Nylons
  • Silver