Optimizing the tissue anchoring performance of barbed sutures in skin and tendon tissues

N. P. Ingle, M. W. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The focus of the current work was to study how the geometric design of a single barbed monofilament suture effects its biomechanical behavior. Different cut angles and cut depths of barbs were prepared and tested in vitro for their tensile and tissue anchoring properties by means of a novel suture/tissue pullout test. Experiments were also performed using bovine tendon and porcine skin tissues. The experimental results revealed that since tendon tissue has a higher modulus than skin it needs a more rigid barb to penetrate and anchor the surrounding tissue. A cut angle of 150° and a cut depth of 0.18 mm are therefore recommended. On the other hand, for the softer skin tissue, a cut angle of 170° and a cut depth of 0.18 mm provides a more flexible barb that gives superior skin tissue anchoring. These findings confirm that the future development of barbed suture technology requires a detailed understanding of the biomechanical properties of the tissue in which they are to be used. This will lead to the future development of a range of tissue-specific barbed sutures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-309
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 19 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to thank Dr. Joseph Hotter, Covidien, Inc.. for providing us with the suture material. We wish to thank the College of Textiles, North Carolina State University, Raleigh and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill for their financial support.


  • Barbed suture
  • Polypropylene
  • Skin
  • Suture/tissue pullout test
  • Tendon


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