Novel mesh suture may resist bone cutting seen with wire-based sternal closures

Sandeep N. Bharadwaj, Connor H. Raikar, Gregory A. Dumanian, S. Christopher Malaisrie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Sternal dehiscence is frequently associated with wire-based closures cutting through fragile bone, allowing sternal motion, separation, and infection. We investigated whether bone cutting could be limited by using a newly available mesh suture with improved force distribution. Methods: Five sternal models were closed using 8 interrupted single sternal wires, double sternal wires, braided poly(ethylene terephthalate) sutures, single-wrapped mesh sutures, or double-wrapped mesh sutures. To simulate chest-wall forces, closed sternal models were pulled apart using 1020 N of axial force applied incrementally. Double sternal wire and double-wrapped mesh suture were further compared by closing 3 new models with each material and subjecting these models to cyclic loading cycles, simulating breathing and coughing. Image analysis of needle hole size measured “bone cutting” by each closure material and sternal distraction as a function of force. Results: All models exhibited maximal separation at the xiphoid. During axial loading, needle hole size increased 7.2% in the double-wrapped mesh suture model and 9.2% in the double-wire model. Single-wrapped mesh suture, single wires, and braided poly(ethylene terephthalate) extended needle hole size by 6.7%, 47.0%, and 168.3% of original size, respectively. The double-wire model resisted sternal distraction best, separating 0.285 cm at the xiphoid. During cyclic loading, mesh suture exhibited significantly less bone cutting (P =.02) than double wire, with comparable levels of sternal separation (P =.07). Conclusions: Mesh suture may resist bone cutting seen in sternal wire closure in bone models with comparable distraction to currently used sternal closure methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-137
Number of pages8
JournalJTCVS Techniques
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • deep sternal wound infection
  • mesh suture
  • sternal closure
  • sternal dehiscence
  • sternal wound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Surgery


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