- Development of rapid manufactured and systemic release systems.
- Electrospinning and 3D printing in Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering applications.
- Mesh implants.
- Nano-CT & TOF-SIMS Characterisation and Imaging.
- Prevent biofilm formation on implants.
The current mesh implants are composed of polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) and polyvinylidenefluoride (PVDF). Mesh implants have been widely used, but given the number of complications associated with mesh insertion, and the recent media coverage relating to the lawsuit against Health Services worldwide, pursuing research for the development of a new generation of mesh inserts is now of the utmost importance for the future of patient care and recovery. Potential mesh-related complications include chronic infections, chronic pain and mesh rupture. There is a need to have a mesh implant that is softer with characteristics that resemble native muscles, and on the same time reduce the risk of infection, with bespoke production for cost reduction. Moreover, the mechanical properties of the mesh and the compatibility between the materials and the tissues are critical in healing. These limitations stimulate research into new methods of fabrication (e.g. 3D printing and Electrospinning), and by incorporating biomaterials and drug encapsulation in these mesh matrices. The particular case will focus on the preparation of drug-loaded polymeric meshes for Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering applications. The purpose of this study is to examine any potential effects, chemical and mechanically, of drug-loaded electrospun & 3D printed scaffolds. The meshes were characterized through various advanced characterization techniques (e.g. Bio-AFM, ToF-SIMS, NanoCT) and methods in order to measure the drug efficacy and antibacterial properties, and investigate any changes in mechanical and chemical properties and drug-polymer interactions.
Take Home Message:
By using new technologies (e.g. electrospinning and 3D printing), in the future, the doctors will be able by scanning an area to request each time an accurate mesh implant that could be potentially prepared in hospitals by trained staff with the intention to have a bespoke production that is patient focused in the hospital / locally.