Navigation Links
Natural polyester makes new sutures stronger, safer

With the help of a new type of suture based on MIT research, patients who get stitches may never need to have them removed.

A biopolymer suture cleared last month by the FDA is made of materials that the human body produces naturally, so they can be safely absorbed once the wound is healed. They are also 30 percent stronger than sutures now used and very flexible, making them easier for surgeons to work with.

The sutures were developed by Tepha, Inc., a Cambridge company that hopes to use the same material to produce an array of absorbable medical devices, including stents, surgical meshes and possibly a heart valve scaffold, says Simon Williams, CEO of Tepha and a former MIT postdoctoral associate.

Williams said he envisions that the new sutures will be used for abdominal closures, which are prone to re-opening, and to stitch tendons and ligaments.

Developed using a method created at MIT, the absorbable sutures are the first made from material produced by genetically modified bacteria.

About 20 years ago, researchers in the laboratory of MIT biology professor Anthony Sinskey started swapping genes between different bacteria, hoping to achieve industrial production of desirable natural compounds synthesized by those bacteria.

The researchers focused their "biopolymer engineering" efforts on a group of genes that code for enzymes in a pathway that produces polyesters. Those polyesters can be broken down into metabolites naturally produced by humans, so they cause no harm when absorbed.

Once the genes were identified, they could be transferred into a strain of industrial E. coli that can produce large quantities of the strong, flexible polymer.

The FDA cleared the biopolymer sutures on Feb. 8, and Williams said Tepha plans to start marketing them soon, in partnership with another company.

"Not only is it technically and in an engineering sense a tremendous victory, but it's also a v ictory for society because this leads to new medical devices that can help people in new and novel ways," said Sinskey, who is one of the founders of Tepha and sits on its board of directors.

The new suture is the first of what the researchers hope will be many medical devices made from the natural polyesters.

"What we've found is that this one material seems to be finding a lot of use in different applications," because of its wide range of desirable properties, Williams said.

Tepha is now working on developing other medical devices, such as surgical meshes, multifilament fibers and stents. Ultimately, the researchers hope to develop an artificial scaffold that could be used to grow heart valves after being implanted in a patient, which would spare children with heart valve defects from undergoing repeated surgeries. Tests of the device in animals have shown promise.

"We've been able to show we can produce a valve scaffold that functions better and can grow with the animal," Williams said. "If the valve can grow with the patient, you don't need the repeated surgeries."
'"/>

Source:Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Related biology news :

1. Genetically Modified Natural Killer Immune Cells Attack, Kill Leukemia Cells
2. Natural Killers Could Lead to New Hepatitis Treatments
3. Natural tumor suppressor in body discovered by UCSD medical researchers
4. Naturally occurring asbestos linked to lung cancer
5. Natural compound from pond scum shows potential activity against Alzheimers
6. Natural selection at single gene demonstrated
7. Natural vitamin E tocotrienol reaches blood at protective levels
8. Natural pine bark extract relieves muscle cramp and pain in athletes and diabetics
9. Natural protein stops deadly human brain cancer in mice
10. Natural anti-viral enzyme helps keep cancer cells alive, researchers find
11. Natural gut hormone offers hope for new obesity drug

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/27/2017)... , Feb. 27, 2017   Strategic Cyber ... announced it has led a $3.5 million investment in  ... platform. Strategic Cyber Ventures is DC based and is ... Hank Thomas . Ron Gula , also ... Ventures, also participated in this series A round of ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... Ore. , Feb. 22, 2017  IBM (NYSE: ... (Avamere Health Services, Infinity Rehab, Signature Hospice, Home Health, ... will apply the power of IBM cognitive computing to ... centers. By analyzing data streaming from sensors in senior ... and environmental conditions, and obtain deeper learnings into the ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... , Feb. 13, 2017  RSA Conference -- ... platform that is designed to enhance fraud detection ... release in the RSA Fraud & Risk Intelligence ... organizations to leverage additional insights from internal and ... to better protect their customers from targeted cybercrime ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... Lajollacooks4u is proud to announce it has become the premiere team-building ... challenges for companies around the world, such as Illumina, HP and Qualcomm, and is ranked ... its increasing popularity is due to its new team building format, a way for teams ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 23, 2017  Northwest Biotherapeutics (OTCQB: NWBO) (NW ... therapies for solid tumor cancers, today announced that ... it announced last Friday, March 17, 2017. ... investors securities totaling 28,843,692 shares, comprised of 18,843,692 ... shares of Class C Warrants pre-funded at the ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... March 23, 2017  GlobeImmune, Inc. today announced it ... sale of 12,835,490 shares of its common stock to ... companies. In connection with the sale of its common stock, ... and issue to GlobeImmune 200,000 shares, an estimated $2.0 ... "We are pleased to enter into this strategic ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... recently selected by the Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) as a 2017 Women of ... thirteenth annual Women of Innovation Awards Dinner. , The dinner recognizes women accomplished ...
Breaking Biology Technology: