3D Printed Anchoring Sutures for Permanent Shaping of Tissues

Wei Wei, Yuxiao Li, Huazhe Yang, Reza Nassab, Fatemeh Shahriyari, Ali Akpek, Xiaofei Guan, Yanhui Liu, Shahrouz Taranejoo, Ali Tamayol, Yu Shrike Zhang, Ali Khademhosseini, Hae Lin Jang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Sutures are one of the most widely used devices for adhering separated tissues after injury or surgery. However, most sutures require knotting, which can create a risk of inflammation, and can act as mechanically weak points that often result in breakage and slipping. Here, an anchoring suture is presented with a design that facilitates its propagation parallel to the suturing direction, while maximizing its resistive force against the opposite direction of external force to lock its position in tissues. Different microstructures of suture anchors are systematically designed using orthogonal arrays, and selected based on shape factors associated with mechanical strength. 3D printing is used to fabricate different types of hollow microstructured suture anchors, and optimize their structure for the effective shaping of tissues. To define the structural design for fixing tissues, the maximum force required to pull 3D printed anchors in different directions is examined with tissues. The tissue reshaping function of suture anchors is further simulated ex vivo by using swine ear, nose, and skin, and bovine muscle tendon. This study provides advantages for building functional sutures that can be used for permanently reshaping tissues with enhanced mechanical strength, eliminating the need for knotting to improve surgical efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1700304
JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • 3D printing
  • anchoring suture
  • minimally invasive treatment
  • reconstructive surgery
  • tissue reshaping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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