Non-Absorbable Inorganic Suture Materials Or Metallic Sutures

These are non-absorbable, monofilament or braided/twisted multifilament sutures. Wires of different metals like tantalum, silver, copper, stainless steel or vitallium are used in monofilament or multifilament form as suture material. Use of metallic sutures is not new. It has been centuries since when wires of metals like lead, gold and silver were being used by surgeons. They are used as implants or along with implants most of the time and not removed in general except skin.

1. Tantalum

It is a rare metal, inert to tissues like stainless steel. Foil is used in surgical procedures. Monofilament wire is commonly used in sizes ranging from 4 to 6/0.

Most commonly used in neurological anastmosis and also have been used in kidney resection, gastric resection surgeries, rhinoplastic surgeries, hernioplasties, vessel anastmosis etc.

Tantalum wire (Steelo Fabrica)

Fig: Tantalum Wire (By Steelo Fabrica)

2. Silver Wire

Silver wires and other forms are used to some extent as suture material. It has some antiseptic properties but it becomes ionized in tissues and can cause inflammation/irritation.

(To enhance antibacterial properties of regular suture threads they are also treated with silver). Less commonly used in modern day surgery but in ancient times it has been used.

3. Copper Wire

It is more suitable to repair fractures due to its flexibility. It has better knotting ability than aluminium but also obsolete and out of trend now.

Copper wire for surgical use by PeierTech

Fig: Copper wire for surgical use by PeierTech

4. Aluminium wire

It is more flexible than stainless steel. But not used in recent trends.

5. Vitallium

It is a cobalt-chromium-molybdenum (Co-27Cr-5.5Mo-2.5Ni-0.25C) alloy that has characteristics like stainless steel and is applicable surfaces. It is wear-resistant and has excellent tensile strength. The Michel wound clips are applied with a special in situations where stainless steel sutures can be used. it is mainly used in dentistry and orthopedic procedures.

What is vitallium used for?

Vitallium is a mixed alloy like stainless steel and mainly used in making prosthesis in dentistry and orthopedics due to its resistance to corrosion.

Is vitallium a titanium?

No. Vitallium is different from titanium. But has similar tensile strength like vitallium.