The effect of suture size on skin wound healing strength in rats

Cheng San Yang, Ching Yi Chen, Cheng Hsien Chiang, Chun Liang Tung, Meng Yi Chen, Chen Hsin Yeh, Fong Chin Su, Ming Long Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


It is known that sutures enhance wound closure and promote healing. Sutures initially provide the mechanical strength to seal the wound and protect it from pathogens. Previous studies of suture mechanics focused on the material strength or knotting methods in vitro. Only a few studies have investigated the correlation between the healing strength of wounds and suturing. The purpose of this study was to investigate how the size of 4-0 and 6-0 nylon sutures affect the healing skin strength in rats. The temporal tensile breaking strength and normalized recovery index were measured by tensile testing. The histology observations were also obtained for structural correlation. Our results find that the mechanical strengths of both 4-0 and 6-0 groups do not have a statistical difference in the first two weeks. After four weeks, however, the breaking strengths of healing skin from the thicker 4-0 suture group are higher than the thinner 6-0 suture group. Histological observation showed more inflammatory cells in the 6-0 group than in the 4-0 group in the first week. These results reveal that small sutures can prolong healing time. The histological results are consistent with this finding, which demonstrated more inflammatory cells and extension of the inflammation phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-343
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical and Biological Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering


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