Bacterial adherence to suture materials

Brendan D. Masini, Daniel J. Stinner, Scott M. Waterman, Joseph C. Wenke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Wound infections may be problematic for physicians. Whether a practitioner is managing complex penetrating trauma or a skin biopsy, there may be a need for suture closure. Suture material is an operator dependent variable and while little objective data exist to guide the choice of suture, it may play a role in wound infection. This study evaluates bacterial adherence to commonly used suture materials with a bioluminescent in vitro model. Methods In all, 11 strands of size 2-0 poliglecaprone suture (Monocryl; Ethicon, Inc, Somerville, New Jersey), polypropylene suture (Prolene; Ethicon, Inc), silk suture (Ethicon, Inc), polyglycolic acid suture (Vicryl; Ethicon, Inc), and antimicrobial polyglycolic acid suture treated with triclosan (VicrylPlus; Ethicon, Inc) were immersed in a broth of Staphylococcus aureus engineered to emit photons. After biofilm formation, the suture strands were irrigated and imaged with a photon-capturing camera system yielding a total photon count that correlates with residual bacteria. Results The Vicryl suture had the highest counts and was statistically significant in bacterial adherence versus all other sutures. No other suture material was significantly different from any other. Conclusions This study gives data to guide the selection of suture materials. Absorbable braided suture should not be used in closure of contaminated wounds or wounds at risk for developing infection. The antibiotic impregnated absorbable braided suture was similar to the other suture types; however, it is at risk for reverting to the properties of its untreated counterpart over time. The bacterial adherence of suture materials should be taken into account by all practitioners when closing wounds or debriding infected wounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-104
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • bacterial adherence
  • infection
  • suture
  • wound complication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Bacterial adherence to suture materials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this