Material Of Dissolvable
Sutures Can Treat Brain Infections
For centuries, plastic surgeons, obstetricians,
urologists, dentists and oral surgeons and even veterinarians have used stitches
to close up the gashes, cuts and surgical incisions. Now, many physicians are
using some form of dissolvable stitches (also called absorbable sutures). The
great thing about dissolvable stitches is that they can be used on internal or
Is Dissolvable Stitches?
To a humanís body, stitches are a foreign substance,
and the body is programmed to destroy foreign substances. Dissolvable stitches
are made from natural materials, such as processed collagen (animal intestines),
silk and hair, as well as some synthetic materials that the body can break down.
This allows the body to dissolve the stitches over time. Usually, by the time
the stitches are dissolved, the wound is completely healed.
Occasionally, a stitch wonít dissolve completely.
This usually occurs when part of the stitch is left on the outside of the body.
There, the bodyís fluids cannot dissolve and decompose the stitch, so it remains
intact. A doctor can easily remove the remaining piece of stitch once the wound
Dissolvable sutures differ from non-absorbable
stitches as they are:
A plastic material already used in absorbable
surgical sutures and other medical devices shows promise for continuous
administration of antibiotics to patients with brain infections. Scientists are
reporting in a new study. Use of the material, placed directly on the brainís
surface, can reduce the need for weeks of costly hospital stays.
are life-threatening complications that occur in about 5-10 % of patients who
have brain surgery. Current treatment involves intravenous antibiotics for up to
eight weeks and extended, costly hospital stays. Previous studies showed that
drug-delivering plastics could release antibiotics directly into the brain.
However, additional surgery is needed to remove the plastic when treatment
finished. Biodegradable version using a dissolvable plastic called PLGA (Poly(lactic
-co-glycolic acid)) can be developed for this purpose.
PLGA fibers release vancomycin, a powerful
antibiotic that kills many microbes. The fibers successfully release vancomycin
for more than eight weeks in the brain and they do so without apparent side