Periodic Reporting for period 1 - 4D-POLYSENSE (4D-POLYpropylene meshes as SENsitive motion SEnsors)
Reporting period: 2018-04-01 to 2020-03-31
The results demonstrated that our strategy can be easily extrapolated to more complex mesh architectures and, the most important, the whole system can be sterilized by conventional and non-conventional sterilization processes applied to PP biomedical devices.
In conclusion, in this project we were able to transform a knitted mesh material into a dynamic device, thanks to the arrangement of a soft and biocompatible hydrogel around the PP threads.
The project scopes can be seen in the following webs: https://upcommons.upc.edu/handle/2117/126082 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGRk2qey0PQ
The in vitro cell viability was also investigated with two different cell lines. A modular cell adhesion and cell detachment of the fibroblast-like cells was observed. Cell attachment is desirable to prove the biocompatibility of the new device, whereas the phenomena of de-adhesion is very appealing for the final application of the mesh, i.e. to avoid mesh adherence to other organs. Those results were published in Journal of Materials Chemistry B (DOI: 10.1039/c9tb02537e).
Finally, the study of the fourth-dimension (4D) behaviour of the bilayer system was performed by applying cycles of increase/decrease temperature and by considering two different humidity conditions. It was of outmost importance to evaluate the mesh behaviour outside human body because, in the mesh sterilization process, the synthetic implant will suffer changes from dry to wet and from wet to dry states, and must resist on flexibility and mechanical properties, before reaching the final consumer (hospitals and medical clinics). Therefore, samples were subjected to sterilization processes. In this point, the mobility of the MSCA-IF researcher, Dr. Sonia Lanzalaco, to the hosting secondment (B Braun Surgical S.A.) was of fundamental relevance for her training. The scientific results on the 4D behaviour were recently accepted for publication in Advanced Functional Materials (high impact factor journal, IF: 15.621); whereas the preliminary results from samples sterilization are under intellectual property rights protection.
Additionally to the dissemination in scientific journals, the project and its results were shared in two national and two international congresses.
The experienced researcher (ER), Dr. Lanzalaco, shared her activities in social media (youtube, facebook and twitter) for academic and non-academic publics. She also had the support of other members of UPC, for the facing Open Access week (2018), and in facebook activities for research dissemination in UPC Campus.
Altogether, the 4D-POLYSENSE project represented an outstanding research programme that helped the ER to develop her interdisciplinary career, to improve her communication and interpersonal skills, and to split her scientific knowledge and expertise with the academic and with non-academic publics.
The main achievements can be summarized as follow:
1. Demonstration that the PNIPAAm thermosensitive hydrogel is an excellent material to be covalently grafted onto the commercial PP mesh, after its initial plasma functionalization and without affecting the properties of the fibres. The bilayer system is highly stable, in dry and wet states.
2. A new generation of PP mesh with modulating cell adhesive property, obtained through the deposition of the thermosensitive coating, was achieved. This point represents a crucial goal in the biomedical field, because it will allow to strongly reduce the risk of adhesion of the implant to organs and viscera, a basic issue causing recurrent surgery.
3. A facile approach towards transforming a bidimensional (2D) PP flexible mesh into fourth dimension (4D) dynamic system has been proved, by exploring its behaviour in a temperature range of surgery’s room and human body and with different humidity conditions.
4. Sterilization processes were performed to evaluate the stability of the thermosensitive hydrogel over the implant. Since this date, no other study or publications have been reported regarding such approaches. The novelty of such results are being evaluated to be protected.
5. The project opened new possibilities of study. Thus, new project calls will be explored to its continuity.
The socio-economic impact and the societal implications of the project are addressed to all sectors involved in the production and utilization of meshes for hernia repairs. From an economic point of view, a surgical device with innovative performances has been prepared, that could be placed on the market (after the in vivo clinical tests), causing a reduction on post-surgery interventions and, thus, causing benefits on both, the public or the private economy sectors. Reduction of the surgical recurrences would limit the costs related to the purchase of materials in the hospitals and medical centres, bringing important advantages for the healthcare sector.
Altogether constitutes a great innovation in the biomedical field of non-absorbable implants.