Measuring Forces in Suture Techniques for Wound Closure

Nick Marsidi*, Sofieke A.M. Vermeulen, Tim Horeman, Roel E. Genders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
58 Downloads (Pure)


Background: The use of sutures remains the first choice for wound closure. However, incorrect use of a suture technique can lead to impaired healing. Many techniques are described for high-tension wounds, but not much is known about their mechanical properties. Complications of excessive tension include dehiscence, infection, and ischemic necrosis and could be prevented. This study aimed to compare forces in five techniques (single, horizontal mattress, vertical mattress, pulley, and modified pulley suture) in a standardized wound tension model. Materials and methods: A standardized neoprene wound model was developed on the ForceTRAP system (MediShield B.V., Delft, The Netherlands) to mimic a 5 Newton (N) wound. Five different suture techniques were each repeated 10 times by a student, resident dermatology, and dermsurgeon. The pulling force of the suture's first throw was measured with the Hook-in-Force sensor (Technical University Delft, The Netherlands). Changes in wound tension were measured by the ForceTRAP system. The ForceTRAP is a platform measuring forces from 0 to 20 N in three dimensions with an accuracy of 0.1 N. The Hook-in-Force is a force sensor measuring 0-15 N with an accuracy of 0.5 N. Maximum and mean forces were calculated for each suture technique and operator. Results: Mean maximum pulling force: 5.69 N (standard deviation [SD], 0.88) single, 7.25 N (SD, 1.33) vertical mattress, 8.11 N (SD, 1.00) horizontal mattress, 3.46 N (SD, 0.61) pulley, and 4.52 N (SD, 0.67) modified pulley suture. The mean force increase on the skin (substitute) ranged between 0.80 N (pulley) and 0.96 N (vertical mattress). Conclusions: The pulley suture requires less pulling force compared with other techniques. The mechanical properties of sutures should be taken in consideration when choosing a technique to close wounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-143
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Suture forces
  • Suture technique
  • Wound closure
  • Wound healing


Dive into the research topics of 'Measuring Forces in Suture Techniques for Wound Closure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this