Scientists used interfacial polyelectrolyte composite to construct a novel cellulose-based suture

Qingdao Energy Institute et al. used interfacial polyelectrolyte composite to construct a new cellulose-based suture

Medical sutures refer to special medical materials used in surgical procedures for ligation and hemostasis and tissue closure. China’s current market size of medical sutures is about 12 billion yuan, and the demand is still growing year by year at a rate of about 15%, but high-end products are still mainly imported. Medical sutures are mainly derived from animal tissues and synthetic polymers, and need to meet the following requirements: easy to operate, firm knots, appropriate tension strength, sterility, mild tissue reaction, non-allergenic and non-carcinogenic. With the enhancement of people’s awareness of environmental protection and the continuous improvement of demand for medical sutures, the development of advanced medical sutures using natural polymers has become a research hotspot.

Cui Qiu’s team, a researcher at Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess, Chinese Academy of Sciences, based on previous research on the clean preparation of nanocellulose and the development of functional materials (ACS Appl. Mater. Inter., 2020, 12, 57410-57420;Chem. Eng. J., 2022, 433, 133672; Green Chem., 2022, doi: 10.1039/D2GC03003A), a novel guar gum/nanocellulose (CGG/ACNF) composite filament was constructed by interfacial polyelectrolyte composite method. This preparation method is simple, does not require a solidification bath, and the obtained silk threads have a high orientation index (0.74) and a special shell structure (the outer layer is guar gum, the inner layer is the nanocellulose backbone). High-strength CGG/ACNF composite sutures can be obtained by twisting simple silk threads, and their comprehensive mechanical properties are better than those reported for bio-based medical sutures. In vitro experiments and in vivo experiments in rats showed that the CGG/ACNF suture had better antibacterial and good cytocompatibility than the commonly used commercially available medical sutures (silk thread and Vijo absorbable suture). Rats sutured with CGG/ACNF silk had good epidermal wound healing, lower levels of inflammatory response, a larger proportion of collagen fibers, and met the requirements for absorbability of medical sutures (50% loss of strength within 60 days of use). This new cellulose-based composite filament with a shell core structure is expected to replace traditional medical sutures, and researchers can further develop its functionality based on its unique shell core structure.

The results were published online in Small. The research work has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Natural Science Outstanding Youth Fund of Shandong Province, and Qingdao City. (Source: Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess, Chinese Academy of Sciences)

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