The Zip Surgical Skin Closure is an ingenious invention that replaces postsurgical sutures and staples for wound-closure applications and can be removed at home by the patient. Manufactured by Silicon Valley startup ZipLine Medical Inc. (Campbell, CA), the noninvasive system reportedly is faster than suturing while providing a cosmetic outcome that rivals meticulously applied sutures.
Essentially a tape with closures that hold together the wound, the Zip has a simple, elegant design. "The adhesive is proprietary to Zipline, as is the exact structure of the system," says Luke Clauson. "However, close examination of the device will reveal the solution that was arrived at."
A number of different polymers are used in the final device based on flexibility, toughness, and biocompatibility, says Clauson. A series of nylon straps creates a dynamic compression that pushes the incision together, Zipline founder Amir Belson told sister brand Qmed.com recently. Adds Clauson, "on the plastic side, we stuck with low-modulus, high-relative-ultimate strength materials that are not hygroscopic and are relatively easily processed."
While this alternative to suturing and stapling may not be rocket science, the problem is not that easily solved, says Clauson. "Many companies and designs have been tried and failed for various reasons."
Zip's success in this endeavor earned it well-deserved recognition as a finalist in the Medical Design Excellence Awards. It is one of six finalists in the Surgical Equipment, Instruments, and Supplies category of the Medical Design Excellence Awards. A ceremony at the MD&M East conference and exposition in New York City on June 11, 2014, will reveal the recipients of gold, silver, and bronze awards in this and the 10 other categories.