Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Hernia Repair Through the Use of Transgenic Silkworm Silk Mesh

Class

Article

Department

Biological and Irrigation Engineering

Faculty Mentor

Randy Lewis

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

It is estimated that 20 million hernia repair surgeries are performed globally each year with approximately 750,000 of these surgeries taking place in the United States. Inguinal hernias are the cause for 90% of these surgeries. Surgery is the only known treatment and cure for inguinal hernias. The cost of these surgeries varies greatly between $4,000 and $30,000. This project is for the development of a hernia mesh derived from transgenic silkworm silk. Current commercial meshes lack sufficient elasticity to mimic the flex of the abdominal wall. Providing a more flexible hernia repair mesh could increase patient comfort. Transgenic silkworm silk appeared as a strong candidate for a material that could be used for development of an "ideal" mesh due to its strong elastic properties while maintaining a high tensile strength. It was expected to be biocompatible and potentially to serve as a matrix for cell growth. Objectives for the project: • Confirm flexibility that exceeds current commercial mesh elasticity and effectively mimics natural tissue. • Show that the chosen mesh design can withstand maximum pressures expected in the abdominal cavity and hold up against dynamic loading of these pressures. • Demonstrate biocompatibility based on standard biocompatibility testing. • Show minimal degradation of the silk during a three-month period in an enzymatic environment Through testing in this project we were able to confirm flexibility greater than current commercial meshes but this flexibility still did not match that of abdominal tissue. The chosen mesh exceeded the objectives that were set for maximum strength and durability. Sufficient biocompatibility was not demonstrated, the meshes released cytotoxins. Further work on this procedure will be needed. The requirement for strength after being placed in an enzymatic environment was also met. A major success of this project was setting up a procedure to test some key physical properties of mesh designs. This was done through the research of established standards and the building, testing, and programming of needed equipment. This will greatly aid further research in transgenic silkworm or synthetic spider silk knit design.

Start Date

4-9-2015 12:00 PM

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Apr 9th, 12:00 PM

Hernia Repair Through the Use of Transgenic Silkworm Silk Mesh

It is estimated that 20 million hernia repair surgeries are performed globally each year with approximately 750,000 of these surgeries taking place in the United States. Inguinal hernias are the cause for 90% of these surgeries. Surgery is the only known treatment and cure for inguinal hernias. The cost of these surgeries varies greatly between $4,000 and $30,000. This project is for the development of a hernia mesh derived from transgenic silkworm silk. Current commercial meshes lack sufficient elasticity to mimic the flex of the abdominal wall. Providing a more flexible hernia repair mesh could increase patient comfort. Transgenic silkworm silk appeared as a strong candidate for a material that could be used for development of an "ideal" mesh due to its strong elastic properties while maintaining a high tensile strength. It was expected to be biocompatible and potentially to serve as a matrix for cell growth. Objectives for the project: • Confirm flexibility that exceeds current commercial mesh elasticity and effectively mimics natural tissue. • Show that the chosen mesh design can withstand maximum pressures expected in the abdominal cavity and hold up against dynamic loading of these pressures. • Demonstrate biocompatibility based on standard biocompatibility testing. • Show minimal degradation of the silk during a three-month period in an enzymatic environment Through testing in this project we were able to confirm flexibility greater than current commercial meshes but this flexibility still did not match that of abdominal tissue. The chosen mesh exceeded the objectives that were set for maximum strength and durability. Sufficient biocompatibility was not demonstrated, the meshes released cytotoxins. Further work on this procedure will be needed. The requirement for strength after being placed in an enzymatic environment was also met. A major success of this project was setting up a procedure to test some key physical properties of mesh designs. This was done through the research of established standards and the building, testing, and programming of needed equipment. This will greatly aid further research in transgenic silkworm or synthetic spider silk knit design.