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August 1961

Braided Marlex Suture: A New General Purpose Suture

Author Affiliations

From the Cora and Webb Madding Department of Surgery, and Baylor University College of Medicine.

Arch Surg. 1961;83(2):203-204. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300140045007

The low foreign-body reaction exhibited by Marlex1 and Marlex mesh4 suggested to us and to others,2,3 its possible use as a suture. We found that the monofilament, while possessing excellent tensile strength, was lacking in knot retention. This was due to the slickness (self-lubrication) of the monofilament and somewhat to "plastic memory," a tendency of certain plastics to assume their original shapes following twisting or torsion.

We found that a twisted multifilament thread (70 fibers) lacked tensile strength. Various braids of the monofilament were then tried and we finally discovered that a 8-strand braid of 6 mil monofilament (the same size monofilament used in making knitted Marlex mesh) made an excellent suture.4 By braiding the monofilament, sufficient roughness was imparted to it to provide good knot retention. The 8-strand braid of 6 mil Marlex monofilament has a knot pull breaking strength of 7 lb., which corresponds