An investigation of leakage tracts along stressed suture lines in phantom tissue

G. A. Thomson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Suturing is still one of the most important procedures used in trauma and surgery environments. It does however rely on piercing other wise healthy tissue. In doing so channels are opened which may act as conduits for bacteria to enter the body or to allow material such as blood or intestinal bacteria to leak from vessels. This work shows by means of finite element analysis and physical modelling through the use of a phantom that the tension in the suture has a direct bearing on the opening of these channels. It was found that for the phantom the channel cross-sectional area was approximately proportional to the applied tension and suture thread deflection. Leakage channels of up to 0.1 mm2 cross-section were achieved with suture tensions of 120 grammes force. Channels of this size are significantly larger than the bacteria suggesting transmission is theoretically possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1030-1034
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Engineering and Physics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


  • Colon
  • Finite element modelling
  • Leakage
  • Suturing


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