Author: Vu Thanh Hien

With the aim to research into a plant-based fiber that can replace all types of absorbable sutures available on the market such as: simple catgut, poliglecaprone (monocryl), this is because these types of sutures are expensive and the production process is complicated.

Two students from Thuan An High School, Tran Thi My Nhung and Truong Thi Thao Vy, have developed and successfully tested a fiber made from the snake plant’s leaves that may be used to suture rabbit wounds.

“Our country now has a lot of wild snake plants, this plant is easy to live and grows very quickly. Besides, we realize that this plant is a very abundant source of natural fiber materials. Our solution is to separate the fibers used to suture animal wounds. To separate yarn, we made use of the devices and equipment in the home. This product will help to create jobs for employees if it is extensively used.” According to the two students.

By February 2022, the project team had successfully tested the sutures made from the snake plant’s leaves to patch suture on rabbits with very positive results after 4 months of research and testing under the direction and support of teacher Dang Ngoc Minh Tri.

The project team used the snake plant leaves more than 60 cm in length to gather fibers with high durability. The study team experimented with various methods to separate the plant’s leaves and discovered that the pressing method using sugarcane juice machine was the best and had the greatest promise. Following the separation, the fiber sample will be treated with NaOH solution, and the breaking strength of the fibers from the snake plant will be determined. Scanning electron microscopy SEM was used to assess fiber morphology.

The NaOH solution treatment produces fibers with great strength and durability. At the Center for Drug-Cosmetic-Food Quality Testing at No. 17 Truong Dinh in Hue City, the research team collected samples to analyze the heavy metals (Hg, Cd, and Pb) found in the fibers of snake plant leaves. The findings indicate that there are no heavy metals in the fiber that was collected, it’s safe to suture.

The research team then tested sutures on New Zealand rabbits to evaluate how easily the plant’s fibers degraded on animals. The research team brought rabbits to the WIN PET Hue Veterinary Hospital so that they could undergo surgery and have their wounds stitched with thread made from snake plant’s leave and self-dissolving catgut thread.

The process of suturing the wound on the rabbit’s back.

It was discovered through the process of evaluating on rabbits that the fibers from the snake plant’s leaves self-decomposed after 11 days while the catgut thread self-destructs after 16 days. The incision heals more quickly and without infection because the fibers made from snake plant leaves are smaller than the catgut fibers. Consequently, animal wounds can be sutured using the snake plant’s leaves (for Veterinary use). The initial success of stitching rabbit wounds with threads from the snake plant’s leaves have been encouraging.

Wounds are treated and assessed day by day

Following this initial success, the study team will carry out more tests on various animals (dogs, cats, pigs, etc.) in veterinary clinics in the province of Thua Thien Hue to assess the general effectiveness of using snake plant fibers to stitch animal wounds.

“Research on extracting the fibers of sansevieria trifasciata’s leaves for suturing wounds on rabbits”, 2 students Tran Thi My Nhung and Truong Thi Thao Vy – Thuan An High School won the second prize of the 15th Creativity Contest for Youth and Children of Thua Thien Hue province, 2022 in the field of environmentally friendly products.

Translator: Thuy Tien

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