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Tissue handling is fundamental to performing mechanical tasks of suturing and surgery on live humans and animals. While the mechanics of suturing can be taught, there is no available simulation product designed to specifically teach tissue handling skills. It is important as a future medical professional to gain better tissue handling skills in order to prevent unnecessary injury to the tissue via scarring. The suture trainer focuses on providing feedback in order to standardize tissue handling technique in order to prevent poor habits from developing. Our project deliverables included a model, working prototype, and test data collected from practicing physicians which was incorporated into the final prototype. Constraints that were considered included cost of the product, having the device be reusable, and having the device be representative of suturing in surgery. The suture trainer is a modified Adson forceps with a piezoelectric sensor on top and a feedback mechanism that incorporates two ranges: a safe range and a danger range. The suture trainer reinforces proper grip and pressure of the Adson forceps in order to improve tactile and proprioceptive skills to allow development of gentle tissue handling skills outside of a live patient situation . Future designs would incorporate a microprocessor which would be able to record data over a certain period and would give the user feedback on improvement of tissue handling skills over time. This invention can be used in suturing simulations for medical students and for all medical providers that suture patients. This includes physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and surgical technicians and residents. It can be used for a variety of simulated tissues including skin, hollow organ, and blood or lymphatic vessels.

Publication Date



biomedical engineering, suture, training, suture trainer, tissue handling, Adson forceps


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Engineering

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Jennifer S. Wayne

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Jennifer L. Rhodes

VCU Capstone Design Expo Posters


© The Author(s)

Date of Submission

August 2016

Suture Trainer: Improving Tissue Handling Technique