Development of a Suture Pad for Medical Training from Silk Fiber Reinforced Polydimethylsiloxane Composite
Keywords:suture pad, silk fiber, polydimethylsiloxane, medical training
The aim of this research is to develop a suture pad simulating human skin for suturing practice. The suture pad was fabricated with layers of artificial dermis and subcutis which reproduced the mechanical properties of skin. The main focus of this study was to reinforce polydimethylsiloxane with silk fiber to create a realistic dermis. The effects of silk fiber amount and aspect ratio on the mechanical properties of the suture pads were investigated. Results revealed that the tensile strength and modulus of the composite increased in relation to fiber content and aspect ratio. Composites with silk fiber exhibited higher tear resistance to suture thread compared with pure polydimethylsiloxane. Furthermore, the hardness of the composites was improved with the addition of silk fiber. It was found that polydimethylsiloxane composite reinforced with 2 phr of silk fiber with an aspect ratio of 1000 showed a hardness value similar to that of human skin. These results indicate that silk fiber reinforced polydimethylsiloxane composites can realistically simulate human skin and have the potential to be used as suture pads for medical training.
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