Novel Elastic Threads for Intestinal Anastomoses: Feasibility and Mechanical Evaluation in a Porcine and Rabbit Model

Sophia M Schmitz*, Marius J Helmedag*, Klas-Moritz Kossel, Roman M Eickhoff, Daniel Heise, Andreas Kroh, Mare Mechelinck, Thomas Gries, Stefan Jockenhoevel, Ulf P Neumann, Andreas Lambertz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Gastrointestinal anastomoses are an important source of postoperative complications. In particular, the ideal suturing material is still the subject of investigation. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate a newly developed suturing material with elastic properties made from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU); Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and TPU were tested in two different textures (round and a modified, "snowflake" structure) in 32 minipigs, with two anastomoses of the small intestine sutured 2 m apart. After 90 days, the anastomoses were evaluated for inflammation, the healing process, and foreign body reactions. A computer-assisted immunohistological analysis of staining for Ki67, CD68, smooth muscle actin (SMA), and Sirius red was performed using TissueFAXS. Additionally, the in vivo elastic properties of the material were assessed by measuring the suture tension in a rabbit model. Each suture was tested twice in three rabbits; No major surgical complications were observed and all anastomoses showed adequate wound healing. The Ki67+ count and SMA area differed between the groups (F (3, 66) = 5.884, p = 0.0013 and F (3, 56) = 6.880, p = 0.0005, respectively). In the TPU-snowflake material, the Ki67+ count was the lowest, while the SMA area provided the highest values. The CD68+ count and collagen I/III ratio did not differ between the groups (F (3, 69) = 2.646, p = 0.0558 and F (3, 54) = 0.496, p = 0.686, respectively). The suture tension measurements showed a significant reduction in suture tension loss for both the TPU threads; Suturing material made from TPU with elastic properties proved applicable for intestinal anastomoses in a porcine model. In addition, our results suggest a successful reduction in tissue incision and an overall suture tension homogenization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5389
Number of pages12
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2022


  • Anastomosis, Surgical
  • Animals
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Polyurethanes/chemistry
  • Rabbits
  • Sutures
  • Swine
  • Swine, Miniature
  • biomaterial
  • gastrointestinal anastomosis
  • surgical thread
  • elastic suture
  • TPU
  • suture material


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