A new smart technology is poised to deliver another crushing blow to catgut suture enthusiasts. A company called Bioactive Surgical out of Baltimore, Maryland has sponsored a team of Johns Hopkins University students to create a way to embed stem cells directly into the thread of a surgical suture, according to the university. The big idea is to develop a suture that will procure the healing power of stem cells immediately after surgery and precisely where the treatment is needed, in other words on scars and anastomotic sites.
The undergraduate team located a machine that could weave surgical thread in a way that would ensure the most effective delivery and long-term survival of the stem cells. The team conducted some aspects of the animal testing, although orthopedic physicians performed the surgical procedures.
At the site of the injury, the stem cells are expected to reduce inflammation and release growth factor proteins that speed up the healing, enhancing the prospects for a full recovery and reducing the likelihood of re-injury. The team’s preliminary experiments in an animal model have yielded promising results, indicating that the stem cells attached to the sutures can survive the surgical process and retain the ability to turn into replacement tissue, such as tendon or cartilage.
Press release: Students Embed Stem Cells in Sutures to Enhance Healing
Link: Bioactive Surgical…