Objectives: The present in vitro study sought to evaluate the effect of saliva on the tensile strength of the commonly used suture material over a period of two weeks. Three suture materials Silk (SL), polyglactin 910 (PG) and polypropylene (PP) were used in 4-0 gauge. Methods: A total of 120 suture samples (40 from each material) were used for the experiment. Artificial saliva was mixed with human serum in 1:1 to simulate oral environment. All samples were tested at preimmersion (baseline), 3rd, 7th and 14th day post-immersion period. Universal testing machine was used to test the selected mechanical properties. Results: The distribution of mean baseline tensile strength was significantly higher in PP group (P-value<0.001). Inter-group comparison revealed that PP group has maximum tensile strength when compared with PG and SL groups at all point of time. Intra-group comparison showed that all the three suture materials had significant difference in mechanical properties when pre-immersion values were compared with 14th day post-immersion values (P-value<0.001). Conclusion: PP sutures are strongest and have highest tensile strength and elongation property. PP seems to sustain its tensile strength better than SL and PG at the end of 14th day. Planned clinical experiments are necessary to verify this finding in an in-vivo setting.
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