Symposium SB03: Thin-Film Devices, Barriers and Their Reliability
April 26, 2023
Shantanu Nikam, the University of Akron and Duke University
Anti-Adhesive Bioresorbable Elastomer Coating That Reduce Intraperitoneal Adhesions in Abdominal Repair Procedures
Written by Richard Wu
Every year, thousands of patients who have abdominal surgeries suffer from intraperitoneal adhesions (IAs), which are bands of excess scar tissue that form between internal organs and the abdominal wall. IAs can mechanically constrict organs such as the intestines, leading to problems such as intestinal blockage, pain, inflammation, and infection. Patients suffering from IA complications often need further surgery and rehospitalization, resulting in further healthcare costs.
Shantanu Nikam, from the University of Akron and Duke University, is designing a solution to help reduce IAs in abdominal hernia repair surgeries. Hernia repair surgeries require implanting a mesh in the body to mechanically support damaged tissue during healing. However, these mesh implants can cause inflammation and scarring within the abdomen, which can lead to IA formation. Nikam’s research group has synthesized a new mesh implant that has a biodegradable coating made from a zwitterionic elastomer material. The coating is formulated to be resistant to IA formation and can withstand mechanical stresses from activities such as coughing, jumping, or stretching. As seen in experiments on rabbits, the coated mesh implants significantly reduced IA extent compared to standard uncoated mesh implants, suggesting that the new mesh implants have potential to reduce surgical complications.