At the meeting of this Academy in Chicago, two years ago, I expressed it as my opinion that ideal catgut had not been discovered, in spite of assertions to the contrary from certain quarters. It was universally admitted at that time that ideal catgut should be, among other things, also antiseptic, to deprive it of its qualities as a culture-medium in the human anatomy for the ever-present bacteria. To this end catgut has been treated with different chemicals, as carbolic acid, sublimate and iodoform. Aseptic catgut, rendered antiseptic with one of these agents, has certainly undergone a great improvement in the direction of ideality, but can hardly be considered ideal, as the carbolic acid is absorbed much more quickly in the tissues than the gut, leaving a culture-medium behind; as sublimate does not penetrate the gut well, forms inert combinations with albuminous substances, and is on the whole an unstable
BOECKMANN E. SILVER CATGUT AND HOW TO TIE IT. JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(8):460–462. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.24610080012001d
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