Researchers from South Korea’s Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST) have created a new human implantable, wireless, health monitoring electronic suturing system

According to its developers, the electronic suture can be applied in the medical field — specifically in the orthopedic fields for applications such as patient-customized rehabilitation.

In collaboration with researchers from Yonsei University and Korea University College of Medicine, the team created a wireless human implantable strain sensor that can be monitored remotely without a separate chip or battery. The sensor is implemented as an electronic suture, combining a medical needle and thread for closing or suturing a wound while subsequently serving as a device that accurately monitors the patient’s injury without burdening them.

The team describes the electronic suture system as an implantable electronic device that resembles a common medical suture but that functions as a wireless strain sensor. Featuring an oil film coating for minimizing immune reactions, the suture can reportedly be attached as easily as a regular suture, the researchers reported.

In the lab, the wireless electronic suture system was tested on a porcine Achilles tendon rupture model. During a 10 week recovery period, the team used the system to regularly monitor changes in the mechanical properties of the tissue, determining that the wireless electronic suture successfully and quantitatively assessed the repair properties of the Achilles tendon.

An article detailing the wireless electronic suture system, “Postoperative Long-Term Monitoring of Mechanical Characteristics in Reconstructed Soft Tissues Using Biocompatible, Immune-Tolerant, and Wireless Electronic Sutures,” appears in the journal ACS Nano.

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