Sutures and staples are used in an assortment of surgical procedures to close wounds and aid in tissue healing. Sutures are manufactured from a variety of absorbable and non-absorbable materials, and may be a single filament or braided with or without a coating. Staples are typically manufactured from stainless steel. Closing wounds with staples is generally much faster than suturing techniques. In addition, staples are also known to provide greater consistency and prevent leakage better than sutures. Tensile strength is a critical measure of performance for both sutures and staples during and after surgical procedures. For sutures, the strength of different knotting techniques must also be evaluated. Precise, consistent, and reliable measures of strength and strain are essential for product development and quality control for both of these wound closure methods.
For testing sutures, pneumatic cord and yarn grips are essential for successfully clamping material, ensuring specimen alignment, reducing stress concentration on the material at the grip face, preventing specimen slippage without increased gripping force, and simplifying the method for loading specimen in the grips when compared to other grip methods. For testing staples in tension, we recommend using pneumatic side action grips with serrated faces to properly grip a narrow staple without specimen slippage. In some cases, the force required to pull out a staple from rubber material is an important measure of quality. For staple pull-out testing, we recommend using our component test plate to clamp the rubber substrate, and an upper hook connected to a load cell to pull the staple out.