Numerical and experimental investigation of vascular suture closure

Linxia Gu, Ananth Ram Mahanth Kasavajhala, Haili Lang, James M. Hammel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: In order to optimize the performance of the suture for tissue closure, it is essential to develop strategies for devising new and improved techniques that can visualize and compare various suturing techniques. This paper describes an experimental and numerical investigation on the performance of sutured tissue. Methods: In the experiments, two pieces of glutaraldehyde cross-linked bovine pericardium were sutured together through simple running suture and tensioned to study the performance of the sutured tissue. During testing, the tension load and the total displacement of the specimen were recorded. The strain field of the specimen was simultaneously captured using two high speed cameras and post processed using its associated image processing software. In addition, nonlinear hyperelastic material models for Shelhigh patch and cryopreserved human aorta were derived through least-square fitting into the tensile testing data. Three dimensional finite element models were developed to replicate the behavior of wound closure. Results: The effect of tissue material mismatch, and stiffness of the suture thread on the mechanical behavior of sutured tissue was examined. The stain distributions obtained from simulation agrees with the captured surface strain map from experiments. A relative softer suture thread could reduce the peak stress concentrations at the knotting location. Conclusions: The mechanical performance of sutured tissue depends on the level of mismatch in material stiffness between the native tissue and the replacement material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-51
Number of pages6
JournalBiomedical Engineering Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Finite element modeling
  • Material mismatch
  • Optical surface strain measurement
  • Surgical suture test
  • Tissue anastomosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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