South Carolina Patent of the Month – September 2023

Hernia repair is a common surgical operation in the United States, with approximately one million procedures performed annually. These procedures, along with other tissue replacement procedures, typically employ synthetic surgical meshes made of fibrous materials. Depending on the fibrous material used, long-term complications like chronic pain may result.Poly-Med, Inc. is working to reduce these negative outcomes with their newly patented time-dependent synthetic biological barrier material. This invention has a thermally stable electrospun barrier and offers the potential to revolutionize treatments for conditions like hernias, tissue separation, and more.

The key feature of Poly-Med’s thermally stable electrospun barrier lies in its unique composition. It comprises two independent fiber populations, each serving a distinct purpose. The major fiber population consists of thermally unstable fibers that are absorbable, derived from materials like glycolide, lactide, and caprolactone. These fibers are designed to provide initial strength upon implantation. In contrast, the minor fiber population comprises thermally stable, non-absorbable fibers, including materials like polyethylene terephthalate (PET). These fibers contribute to long-term elasticity and provide a permanent scaffolding barrier for tissue reconstruction.

The co-mingling and distribution of these two fiber populations throughout the electrospun barrier result in a material that exhibits remarkable stability. Even when exposed to temperature fluctuations, the barrier maintains its structural and mechanical integrity. This is a game-changer for medical devices, especially in applications where dimensional stability is crucial.

One of the most impressive aspects of this innovation is the porosity of the thermally stable electrospun barrier. With a porosity of 75% or greater, it offers an ideal environment for tissue ingrowth and regeneration. As the major fiber population is absorbed over time, the porosity increases, further enhancing its biocompatibility.

Poly-Med’s invention also simplifies the manufacturing process, eliminating the need for complex downstream chemical processing or layered constructs. This means reduced production complexity and improved biocompatibility of the final product.

The potential applications of this technology are vast, ranging from hernia repairs to peritoneum replacement, dura mater replacement, and pelvic floor reconstruction. By providing a stable and versatile material for these procedures, Poly-Med’s thermally stable electrospun barrier has the potential to improve patient outcomes and reduce complications significantly.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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