Development of a penetration friction apparatus (PFA) to measure the frictional performance of surgical suture

Gangqiang Zhang, Tianhui Ren, Walter Lette, Xiangqiong Zeng*, Emile van der Heide

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    11 Downloads (Pure)


    Nowadays there is a wide variety of surgical sutures available in the market. Surgical sutures have different sizes, structures, materials and coatings, whereas they are being used for various surgeries. The frictional performances of surgical sutures have been found to play a vital role in their functionality. The high friction force of surgical sutures in the suturing process may cause inflammation and pain to the person, leading to a longer recovery time, and the second trauma of soft or fragile tissue. Thus, the investigation into the frictional performance of surgical suture is essential. Despite the unquestionable fact, little is actually known on the friction performances of surgical suture-tissue due to the lack of appropriate test equipment. This study presents a new penetration friction apparatus (PFA) that allowed for the evaluation of the friction performances of various surgical needles and sutures during the suturing process, under different contact conditions. It considered the deformation of tissue and can realize the puncture force measurements of surgical needles as well as the friction force of surgical sutures. The developed PFA could accurately evaluate and understand the frictional behaviour of surgical suture-tissue in the simulating clinical conditions. The forces measured by the PFA showed the same trend as that reported in literatures.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)392-399
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


    • Friction
    • Penetration friction apparatus (PFA)
    • Sliding
    • Soft tissue
    • Surgical suture
    • 2023 OA procedure


    Dive into the research topics of 'Development of a penetration friction apparatus (PFA) to measure the frictional performance of surgical suture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this