Sutures from fish

Published: Friday 31 March 1995

Scientists from the Kochi-based Central Institute of Fisheries Technology have developed surgical suture -- a fibre for stitching up a wound -- from fish gut that can be absorbed by the body.

"This is significant," says M K Mukukundan who specialises in biomedical products from fishery wastes, "because their manufacture is largely a monopoly of some multinational companies now, and India has to rely on imports."

The method for the manufacture of these sutures involves extraction of the gut from fresh or live fish, which is washed with water and then dipped for a few hours in a solution containing chemicals that remove impurities and soluble proteins. The fibres are finally smoothened and sterilised. Mukundan explains that a 1 kg fish can yield 3-4 m of low-cost suture material.

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