Feb 24, 2023

Stitching up innovation: When sutures meet robots

No-knot sutures enable the future of robotic-assisted surgery

Heart Suture
Tiny, dual-angle barbs, pictured here, help lock the suture into place without the need to tie knots.

Sutures are as old as surgery itself, but they continue to evolve – and drive innovation. One of the more recent innovations in suture technology – barbed sutures -- helps enable robotic assisted surgery. They allow doctors to close wounds without the need to tie knots. The tiny double-angle barbs lock a suture into place with constant thread tension so stitching can happen quickly, reducing operative time.

By eliminating the need to tie knots, robotic assisted surgery systems’ small arms can stitch in tight spaces where human hands cannot fit — enabling more minimally invasive surgeries, while delivering patients superior wound healing without knot-related complications.

This video, using a stuffed toy as the patient, demonstrates a robotic assisted surgery system using one thread of barbed suture to close a rip without tying any knots. 


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