An innovative absorbable coating for the polybutester suture

George T. Rodeheaver, Adam L. Shimer, Lucy M. Boyd, David B. Drake, Richard F. Edlich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The polybutester (PBE) suture has been coated with an absorbable polytribolate polymer that is composed of glycolide (9%), ε-caprolactone (51%), and poloxamer 188 (40%) to reduce its drag forces. It is the purpose of this study to document the influence of this coating on the biomechanical performance of both PBE sutures and polypropylene (PP) sutures. The performance parameters evaluated were breaking strength, elongation, stiffness, knot security, knot run down, and tissue drag. The breaking strength of PP sutures was remarkably similar to that of coated and uncoated PBE sutures. In size 5/0 PP sutures, the sutures exhibited considerably greater elongation at knot break than did comparably sized PBE sutures. The PBE suture elongated under low loads, but returned to its original length when the load was removed. In contrast, the PP suture elongated irreversibly at high loads, exhibiting creep. Coated and uncoated PBE sutures exhibited less stiffness than PP sutures and exhibited limited memory after removal from the suture package. Coating the PBE suture markedly reduced its drag forces in musculoaponeurotic, colonic, and vascular tissue. Knot security with the coated PBE suture was achieved with only one more throw than with comparably sized uncoated PBE sutures. On the basis of the results of this study, coating the PBE suture represents another major advance in suture performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-54
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Biomechanical performance
  • Polybutester suture
  • Polypropylene suture
  • Polytribolate coating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Dentistry


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