It is prepared from bovine deep flexor tendon filament. It is harvested and chemically treated with formaldehyde or chromic acid or both, purified and later processed into strands. Collagen sutures gross appearance is similar to the catgut but more homogenous than catgut.
It is a multifilament absorbable suture and is absorbed within 60 days. It incites less tissue reaction than catgut but absorption is similar and unpredictable/premature.
It is smoother, more pliable, greater tensile strength than catgut. It loses strength like catgut and takes 16-25 days with decrease in tensile strength from 5th day.
Fine collagen is mostly used in ophthalmic surgeries. It is also suitable for muscle and fascia apposition, hernioplasties and plastic procedures.
It has advantages of greater uniformity in size, greater purity and more homogenous in comparison to catgut. Collagen is conductive to cell motility, proliferation, adhesion and differentiation.
Collagen and gut sutures are usually sterilized by gamma radiation or ethylene oxide and packed in alcohol (ethanol or isopropyl alcohol) solution.
Collagen suture is but slightly absorbed (building of collagen connective tissue) and primarily assimilated (by fibroblasts).
Collagen suture is used in patient for cataract or ophthalmic surgeries, muscle/fascia apposition etc. Better absorbable suture material is available in synthetic monofilament and polyfilament sutures.
If a patient has known history of hypersensitivity or allergies to collagen then catgut, aligned collagen sutures, purified collagen suture or collagen sutures must be avoided.