Although the repair of the abdominal wall is among the most common class of operations performed by general surgeons in the US, results remain far from ideal due to chronic inflammation, poor integration of implanted biomaterials, and infection. We have ongoing efforts to develop biomaterials that serve as artificial fascia for the repair of abdominal wall hernias. These materials are generated from matrix protein analogues and do not contain residual antigenic and inflammatory factors found in donor animal and cadaver tissue products. Currently, we are investigating the addition of various bioactive constituents, as well as the application of fabrication techniques to enhance our control over the patch microstructure. Our objectives are optimal integration with host tissue, rapid development of neovasculature, cellularity within and around the patch, and durability in the presence of bacterial infection.
Sallach RE, Cui W, Balderrama F, Martinez AW, Wen J, Haller CA, Taylor JV, Wright ER, Long RC, Chaikof EL. Long-term biostability of self-assembling protein polymers in the absence of covalent crosslinking. Biomaterials 2010;31:779-91