A multifunctional electronic suture for continuous strain monitoring and on-demand drug release

Yeontaek Lee, Hwajoong Kim, Yeonju Kim, Seungbeom Noh, Beomsoo Chun, Jinho Kim, Charnmin Park, Minyoung Choi, Kijun Park, Jaehong Lee, Jungmok Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Surgical sutures are widely used for closing wounds in skin. However, the monitoring of wound integrity and promoting tissue regeneration at the same time still remains a challenge. To address this, we developed a drug-releasing electronic suture system (DRESS) to monitor the suture integrity in real-time and enhance tissue regeneration by triggered drug release. DRESS was fabricated by using a single fiber with a core-shell structure consisting of a stretchable conductive fiber core and a thermoresponsive polymer shell containing drugs. The highly conductive fiber core acts as a strain sensor that enables continuous monitoring of suture strain with high sensitivity (a gauge factor of ∼686) and mechanical durability (being able to endure more than 3000 stretching cycles). The thermoresponsive shell layer composed of flexible poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) grafted onto poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAm) facilitates on-demand drug release via Joule heating. The results of an in vitro scratch assay showed a 66% decrease in wound area upon heat-activation after 48 hours demonstrating the stimuli-responsive therapeutic efficacy of DRESS by promoting cell migration. Moreover, ex vivo testing on porcine skin demonstrated the applicability of DRESS as a electronic suture. The approach used for DRESS provides insight into multifunctional sutures and offers additional therapeutic and diagnostic options for clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18112-18124
Number of pages13
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov 21

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (NRF-2019R1C1C1006720, NRF-2021M3H4A1A03048658, and NRF-2021R1C1C1009271), the Korean Medical Device Development Fund grant funded by the Korean government (the Ministry of Science and ICT, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy, the Ministry of Health & Welfare, and the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety) (Project Numbers: 1711138242, KMDF_PR_20200901_0131), (Project Number: 1711138243, KMDF_PR_20200901_0131), (Project Number: 1711137994, KMDF_PR_20200901_0039). This work was also financed by the DGIST Start-up Fund Program of the Ministry of Science and ICT (2021010030).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)


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