An investigation of leakage tracts along stressed suture lines in phantom tissue

G. A. Thomson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Suturing is still one of the most important procedures used in trauma and surgery environments. It does however rely on piercing other wise healthy tissue. In doing so channels are opened which may act as conduits for bacteria to enter the body or to allow material such as blood or intestinal bacteria to leak from vessels. This work shows by means of finite element analysis and physical modelling through the use of a phantom that the tension in the suture has a direct bearing on the opening of these channels. It was found that for the phantom the channel cross-sectional area was approximately proportional to the applied tension and suture thread deflection. Leakage channels of up to 0.1mm2 cross-section were achieved with suture tensions of 120 grammes force. Channels of this size are significantly larger than the bacteria suggesting transmission is theoretically possible.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1030-4
    Number of pages5
    JournalMedical Engineering and Physics
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


    • Dermatologic Surgical Procedures
    • Finite Element Analysis
    • Models, Educational
    • Phantoms, Imaging
    • Skin
    • Suture Techniques
    • Sutures
    • Tensile Strength
    • Wounds, Penetrating


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