A new device, created by Seattle startup KitoTech Medical, could offer the benefits of sutures or staples with the ease of application of a simple bandage. The “microMend” device is succeeding in clinical trials and may become available soon, according to Gizmodo’s George Dvorsky.
Using two sets of “microstaples” on either side of an adhesive, band-aid-like strip, the microMend can close a wound quickly and easily. The “skin closure device” is applied by medical staff one side at a time and is inserted into the skin, though is reported to be as painless a process as possible when closing a wound.
Microstaples are set 5 to 10 millimeters apart – with almost no gap in the wound, the device greatly reduces the likelihood of infection, scarring, or inflammation. The lack of needles necessary for the process further cuts the chance of infection, and offers an alternative for patients who are averse to needles.
Further adhesive strips or bandages are not necessary as they are for sutures or staples, since the microMend already covers the entire wound.
In certain instances, a doctor can even recommend that a patient remove the device at home.
The company’s CEO, Dr. Ron Berenson, has launched several other startups including Aequus Biopharma and HemaQuest Pharmaceuticals. According to Cici Zhou, reporting for Medgadget, KitoTech has already finalized the design, launched clinical trials, and gathered manufacturing partners.
The device was tested on pigs, which have similar skin to that of humans, and was found to be equally effective as sutures for closing wounds, with “outstanding cosmetic results” for surgical incisions of 4.7 inch (12 cm). In human trials, it was applied three times faster than sutures, and both patients and medical staff preferred the microMend to staples or sutures 90 percent of the time. Patients considered it more comfortable, easier to have removed, and said it promoted healing more efficiently.
While the microMend is designed for plastic surgeries and dermatological procedures, it could also be employed in emergency settings, or in laparoscopic, spinal, and vascular surgeries, particularly when speed and cosmetics are a priority. Furthermore, it presents an option for elderly patients in cases where skin is too fragile and delicate for sutures to work without causing damage. The microMend is not for jagged wounds, infected areas, moist parts of the body, or hairy skin.
While trials have yet to be complete, the device was given positive reviews at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Dermatological Surgery.