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Surgical Suture Patent
 

Irradiated surgical suture and method for making same

Surgical suture abstract

A surgical suture fabricated from a copolymer containing dioxanone, trimethylene carbonate and glycolide is treated with gamma radiation to enhance bioabsorbability without adversely effecting handling properties.

Surgical suture claims

What is claimed is:

1. A method for treating a surgical suture to enhance the bioabsorbability thereof, comprising the steps of:

a) providing a bioabsorbable surgical suture fabricated from a terpolymer having repeating units derived from p-dioxanone, trimethylene carbonate and glycolide;

b) exposing the surgical suture at ambient temperature to gamma radiation at a first dosage ranging from about 2 Mrad to about 12 Mrad.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein said bioabsorbable surgical suture is a monofilament suture.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein the suture is a multifilament suture.

4. The method of claim 1 wherein step (a) comprises providing a suture made from a block copolymer.

5. The method of claim 4 wherein step (a) comprises providing a suture made from a triblock copolymer having a center block with randomly combined p-dioxanone and trimethylene carbonate and end blocks with a predominant amount of glycolide.

6. The method of claim 5 wherein the end blocks comprise randomly combined repeating units derived from glycolide and p-diohanone.

7. The method of claim 1 further comprising the step of exposing the suture to gamma radiation a second time at a second dosage, wherein the second dosage is equal to the first dosage.

8. A suture comprising a fiber of gamma irradiated block copolymer having repeating units derived from p-dioxanone, trimethylene carbonate and glycolide.

9. The suture of claim 8 wherein the surgical suture loses at least about 2/3 of its initial strength after being implanted for three weeks in body tissue.

10. The suture of claim 8 wherein the block copolymer is a triblock copolymer.

11. The suture of claim 10 wherein the triblock copolymer has a center block containing a random combination of units derived from p-diohanone and trimethylene carbonate.

12. The suture of claim 10 wherein the end blocks comprise randomly combined repeating units derived from glycolide and p-dioxanone.

13. The suture of claim 8 wherein the fiber is gamma irradiated at a dose ranging from about 2 Mrad to about 5 Mrad.

14. The suture of claim 8 wherein the fiber is gamma irradiated twice.

15. A monofilament suture in accordance with claim 8.

16. A monofilament suture in accordance with claim 11.

17. The suture of claim 8 wherein the block copolymer contains a first block that is a copolymer of p-dioxanone and trimethylene carbonate and the second block that is a copolymer of glycolide and p-dioxanone.

Surgical suture description

BACKGROUND

1. Technical Field

The disclosure herein relates to a surgical suture, and in particular to a surgical suture which has been subjected to radiation treatment.

2. Background of Related Art

Implantable surgical devices such as surgical fasteners, clips, staples, and sutures are typically employed in surgical procedures to hold body tissue together to promote the healing and joining of the tissue. Such surgical devices are often made from synthetic bioabsorbable polymers. The advantage of bioabsorbable devices is that, once implanted, they do not need to be removed by a separate surgical operation since they are degraded and absorbed by the body. Ideally, the surgical device maintains its strength for as long as it takes the body tissues to heal. Thereafter, the device should rapidly degrade and disappear.

In various applications the body tissue heals much faster than the suture implanted therein is absorbed. In such cases, the suture remains in the body tissue longer than is necessary. Accordingly, it would be advantageous to treat the suture so that it degrades faster, without adversely affecting the mechanical properties of the suture.

U.S. Pat. No. 4496446 discloses modifying the absorption rate of anastomosis rings by the inclusion of certain filler materials in the ring, pre-treatment of the ring with hot water or steam, and subjecting the ring to gamma radiation. U.S. Pat. No. 4435590 discloses that exposure of sutures to radiation leads to distinct degradation in mechanical properties and to clinically unacceptable in vivo strength retention. Thus, those skilled in the art would not expect a treatment that includes radiating the suture to provide an acceptable product.

It would be desirable to provide a suture treatment that enhances absorption rate while not adversely affecting the desired physical qualities of the suture.

SUMMARY

A method is provided herein for treating a surgical suture to enhance its bioabsorbability. The surgical suture is preferably fabricated from a terpolymer of glycolide, dioxanone and trimethylene carbonate. In particularly useful embodiments, the suture is made from a block copolymer containing glycolide, dioxanone and trimethylene carbonate such as, for example, a block copolymer wherein the center block is a p-dioxanone/trimethylene carbonate copolymer and the two end blocks are p-dioxanone/glycolide copolymer. The surgical suture is exposed to gamma radiation in an amount ranging from about 2 Mrad to about 12 Mrad. Various sizes of monofilament or multifilament sutures can be treated in this manner to enhance the rate at which the suture is absorbed, but, quite surprisingly, without any significant adverse effect on the physical properties of the suture.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The method described herein relates to the irradiation of a suture fabricated from synthetic bioabsorbable polymer to increase the rate of absorption of the suture in the body.

Suture sizes referred to below are USP synthetic suture sizes as listed in the United States Pharmacopeia (USP XXII, page 1307).

The suture can be a monofilament or multifilament suture and is preferably fabricated from a terpolymer of glycolide, p-dioxanone, and trimethylene carbonate. Particularly useful herein are substances made from block copolymers of glycolide, dioxanone and trimethylene carbonate.

Suitable block copolymers have two specific types of blocks, a "A" block having a proportion of glycolic acid ester units as the predominant component thereof and a "B" block comprising 13 dioxane-2-one randomly copolymerized with 14 dioxane-2-one. Such copolymers can advantageously be formed into fibers and irradiated to provide relatively fast absorbing sutures with good physical properties.

The preferred block copolymer compositions for use in making sutures to be irradiated include an A block formed from a copolymer which has glycolide as the predominant component thereof. That is glycolide comprises at least 50 mole percent of the first block. Preferably, glycolide comprises at least about 60 mole percent of the first block and most preferably at least about 95 mole percent glycolide. The glycolide may be copolymerized with any monomer which provides an absorbable copolymer to form the A block. Such monomers include but are not limited to lactide, trimethylene carbonate, p-diohanone, and epsilon-caprolactone. The copolymers of glycolide which form the first block can be random or block copolymers and can be synthesized by known methods. See, for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 4653497; 4838267; 4429080; 4665730; and 4788979 the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference.

The B block of the preferred copolymers has 14-dioxane-2-one and 13-dioxane-2-one linkages. Preferably 14-dioxane-2-one comprises from about 20 mole percent to about 80 mole percent, and more preferably from about 35 mole percent to about 65 mole percent of the B block. Most preferably, 14-dioxane-2-one comprises at least about 35 mole percent of the B block, the remainder of the block comprising 13-dioxane-2-one. Copolymers of 13-dioxane-2-one and 14-dioxane-2-one having an inherent Viscosity of from about 0.5 to about 2 dl/g measured at 30.degree. C. and a concentration of 0.25 g/dI in chloroform or hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP) may generally be used as the second block.

The block copolymers can be prepared by preparing the individual polymers which make up the blocks and then copolymerizing these polymers to form a block or graft copolymer. Alternatively, a pre-polymer having 14-dioxane-2-one and 13-dioxane-2-one linkages may be prepared in a reactor and then the monomers needed to form the other block or blocks are added directly to the reactor to thereby form the block copolymer. In one embodiment the polymerization reaction used in the formation of the above mentioned pre-polymer is stopped short of completion, leaving residual 14-dioxane-2-one. Then monomers needed to form the block or blocks are added directly to the reactor vessel to react the residual 14-dioxane-2-one and the pre-polymer to form block copolymers having 14-dioxane-2-one linkages in each block.

In forming the preferred block copolymers from which the sutures are made, the A (predominately glycolide) block may be present in an amount from about 50 to about 80 percent by weight based on the weight of the final block copolymer. The B (random copolymer) block may be present in an amount from about 20 to about 50 weight percent based on the weight of the final block copolymer. Preferably, the R block comprises between about 60 and about 70 weight percent of the block copolymer. In a particularly useful embodiment, the A block comprises about 65 weight percent and the B block comprises about 35 weight percent of the final block copolymer. The copolymers of the present invention have a molecular weight such that their inherent viscosity is from about 0.5 to about 2.0 dl/g, and preferably from about 1 to about 1.40 dl/g measured at 30.degree. C. at a concentration of 0.25 g/dl in chloroform or HFIP.

Each A and B block may comprise a single type of recurring monomeric unit. Alternatively, each block may comprise more than one type of recurring monomeric unit randomly distributed throughout each block. The block copolymers used to form the sutures may have repeating block units such as AB, ABA, ABAB, ABABA, BABA, etc.; with ABA being preferred.

A particularly useful suture for use herein is BIOSYN.TM. sutures available from United States Surgical Corporation, Norwalk, Conn.

If the suture is multifilament it can be manufactured by any of the known methods for combining multiple strands, such as braiding, twisting, and the like. Prior or subsequent to the irradiation treatment the suture can be coated or filled with various coating and/or filling agents to improve handling characteristics and storage stability. Such agents are disclosed, for example, in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5306289 5269808 and 5226912 all of which are incorporated by reference.

The irradiation treatment is performed by subjecting the suture to gamma-radiation from, for example, a cobalt-60 source. The total dose rate can range about 2 to about 12 preferably from about 5 to 8 Mrad. The suture is preferably exposed to the radiation while under vacuum or in an atmosphere from which oxygen is excluded. The suture is preferably kept at about temperature while being irradiated. The irradiation treatment results in a suture with enhanced bioabsorbability as illustrated by the examples given below.

Advantageously, irradiation of sutures of the preferred block copolymer compositions exhibit strength retention and mass loss profiles similar to the profiles of gut sutures. However, because they are synthetic absorbable sutures, the irradiated sutures do not exhibit any of the perceived disadvantages (e.g., fraying, inconsistent strength, etc.) typically associated with gut sutures.


Packaging for surgical suture material
Packaging for surgical suture material

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