Smart, antimicrobial sutures that glow under medical imaging have been developed by a team from Australia’s Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).

As a possible replacement for mesh implants and internal stiches, the smart sutures are expected to prevent surgical site infections while also monitoring patient post-surgical recovery, according to the researchers.

Source: RMITSource: RMIT

This is thanks, the researchers suggest, to a combination of iodine and tiny nanoparticles throughout the materials. The tiny nanoparticles, which are carbon dots, are fluorescent and reportedly make it possible for the material to stand out from nearby tissue during medical imaging. Meanwhile, the iodine possesses strong antimicrobial properties.

During tests in the lab, the researchers reported that the sutures were still visible under medical imaging after being threaded through chicken meat samples, even after approximately three weeks. The sutures demonstrated strong antimicrobial properties, killing roughly 99% of drug resistant bacteria after six hours at body temperature.

The sutures are detailed in the article, Smart suture with iodine contrasting nanoparticles for computed tomography, which appears in the journal OpenNano.

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