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Examinations of a new long-term degradable electrospun polycaprolactone scaffold in three rat abdominal wall models

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Alternative approaches to reinforce native tissue in reconstructive surgery for pelvic organ prolapse are warranted. Tissue engineering combines the use of a scaffold with the regenerative potential of stem cells and is a promising new concept in urogynecology. Our objective was to evaluate whether a newly developed long-term degradable polycaprolactone scaffold could provide biomechanical reinforcement and function as a scaffold for autologous muscle fiber fragments. We performed a study with three different rat abdominal wall models where the scaffold with or without muscle fiber fragments was placed (1) subcutaneously (minimal load), (2) in a partial defect (partial load), and (3) in a full-thickness defect (heavy load). After 8 weeks, no animals had developed hernia, and the scaffold provided biomechanical reinforcement, even in the models where it was subjected to heavy load. The scaffold was not yet degraded but showed increased thickness in all groups. Histologically, we found a massive foreign body response with numerous large giant cells intermingled with the fibers of the scaffold. Cells from added muscle fiber fragments could not be traced by PKH26 fluorescence or desmin staining. Taken together, the long-term degradable polycaprolactone scaffold provided biomechanical reinforcement by inducing a marked foreign-body response and attracting numerous inflammatory cells to form a strong neo-tissue construct. However, cells from the muscle fiber fragments did not survive in this milieu. Properties of the new neo-tissue construct must be evaluated at the time of full degradation of the scaffold before its possible clinical value in pelvic organ prolapse surgery can be evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1077-1086
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 51472031