Surgical stitches could soon be a thing of the past

UTAH (WIVB) — A new way to do surgery could eliminate the need for stitches.

It started with engineers needing the tools for space flight to be smaller and more compact. Now, they’re using that knowledge to build tiny, robotic surgical instruments.

One team is developing robotic, origami forceps that are so small, they can pass through a three millimeter hole.

That’s about the same thickness as a charging cable for your cell phone.

A Utah University has already licensed several of its origami-inspired technology to the same company that makes the Da Vinci surgical robot.

The goal is for smaller and smaller incisions. Once inside, the instrument needs to get much larger to do the job.

Doctors believe these small instruments will allow them to perform a whole new range of surgeries, possibly even manipulating things as small as nerves one day.

One big benefit to this will be incisions so small, they can heal on their own, without sutures or stitches. It could also reduce the chance for infection. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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