FOR CENTURIES a problem has faced surgeons in the form of tissue reaction to the various inert substances used as ligatures and sutures. Few possibilities have been overlooked in the search for a more stable substance of either animal, plant or mineral origin which would fulfil all the surgeons' requirements. Babcock1 has recently reviewed the background, development and present status of metallic sutures and ligatures. The high degree of tolerance for embedded stainless steel alloy wire prompted the present study of tissue reaction to stainless steel "woven wire cloth."
The use of a metallic prosthetic material is not new. Phelps2 in 1894 treated many inguinal hernias by approximating the layers of the abdominal wall over coiled silver wire placed on the floor of the inguinal canal. Witzel is credited by Throckmorton3 as first suggesting to the surgical world the idea of embedding a ready-made filigree.