Seattle startup KitoTech Medical has developed a “skin closure device” that it believes combines the efficacy of traditional wound closure techniques with the simplicity of the humble Band-Aid.
Initially targeted at procedures like excisions, skin biopsies, and other non-traumatic applications, microMend is an adhesive strip with “microstaples” that seal wounds closed. The easy-to-use product is reportedly more effective than labor-intensive sutures and staples at minimizing both infection and scarring.
The microMend strip is intuitive to use: First, press the microstaples on one end of the strip into the skin on one side of the wound. It’s then a simple matter of ensuring the skin is pulled taut and inserting the microstaples on the other end of the strip into the other side of the wound.
The microstaples are small enough that patients describe them as painless. In human trials, microMend was preferred over staples and sutures in 90% of instances, by both patients and health care workers.
While the initial results are promising, microMend isn’t expected to render current techniques obsolete. The strip’s design is less useful for wounds on hairy skin or areas subject to repetitive motion. Further, its application has proven less effective on jagged or non-linear lacerations.
Clinical testing of microMend is currently underway, but the response to the product has been overwhelmingly positive. The next time you go under the knife for a minor medical procedure, you just might avoid sutures or the dreaded staple gun.