Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Charlotte Greene, PhD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Mei Xu, MD, PhD

Third Advisor

Saul Jeck, DO


The purpose of this preliminary study is to determine if swine small intestine submucosa (SIS) can be used to create a suture that will perform comparably to commercially available chromic gut sutures when placed into a wound in rat dermis. This study is part of an ongoing collaboration that has explored SIS as a biologic scaffold in various tissues and surgical procedures. In this study, eight Sprague-dawley rats were divided into two groups, each receiving a full thickness skin wound between the scapula, made by a 5mm biopsy punch. The wound was then closed with commercially available chromic gut suture, or SIS suture that was prepared in our laboratory. These sutures were created from swine jejunum with the serosal and mucosal layers removed, leaving behind only the submucosa. The submucosa was sliced into strips comparable to 3.0 sutures, and threaded onto a c-3 reverse cutting needle. The sutures were sterilized in a gentamycin and saline solution and refrigerated until placement. Rats were observed for signs of distress and infection, and euthanized at day 21 post-surgery. Tissue samples were taken, fixed, sectioned, mounted to slides, stained with Toren's reagent, and examined with light microscopy. he SIS animals were compared to the chromic gut group under the parameters of fibroblast presence, infiltration of native tissue into the suture material, organization of collagen, vascularity, and granulation tissue. At day 21, all animals showed full wound closure, with no signs of scarring. No significant differences were found between the SIS and Chromic Gut groups in any measured parameter. The results of this study warrant further examination of SIS as a suture material. As the production of low cost, naturally occurring absorbable suture materials declines in favor of the production of more expensive synthetic sutures, third world nations are left with fewer wound closure options. SIS sutures could provide a cost effective option that can be made on site for a variety of surgical applications.