Jul 23, 2010

Suture This

Sutures have a long and bizarre history, dating back to ancient Egypt, where everything from tree bark to hair was used to stitch human flesh back together again. Archaeological records from ancient Egypt show that Egyptians used linen and animal sinew to close wounds. In ancient India, physicians used the pincers of beetles or ants to staple wounds shut. They then cut the insects’ bodies off, leaving their jaws 'staples' in place.

Other natural materials used to close wounds include flax, grass, cotton, silk, pig bristles, and animal gut. The fundamental principles of wound closure have changed little during the past 4,000 years.