September 14, 2002
In endoscopic surgery, it is not easy to properly suture through a small hole.
Modern medicine aims at maximally localized operative treatment, if such treatment is necessary at all. In endoscopic surgery, operations are performed through small holes. Under such conditions, it is very difficult to suture because knots may appear either too tight or too loose. What kind of threads would surgeons like to have? Ideally, threads must be able to fasten themselves.
The threads invented at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are just tailored for this job. They are made from a shape-memory thermoplast. The resource providing necessary heating for regaining the shape is the human body's heat. The threads are stretched in advance and after suturing they contract thereby fastening the edges. The thread material dissolves in the body with time.
The physical effect of shape memory and the available resource of the human body's heat is employed here.
Information source: http://lenta.ru/health/2002/04/29/shvi .