One in ten people in the Western world is expected to receive at least one implantable medical device in their lifetime.
Post-operative complications of implants (foreign body) threaten the lives of these patients, keep them away from work and family, and place an economical burden on society and the healthcare system.
To address this critical medical need, the HYLOMORPH team has developed a unique surgical membrane that optimizes the interface between implants and human tissue. Manufacturing of the membrane takes place using a patented process combining microengineering and biotechnology, in which non-pathogenic bacteria are cultured within custom-made bioreactors to produce hydrogel films of biosynthetic cellulose, featuring a finely controlled surface topography. In the team’s pre-clinical studies, up to a 5-fold reduction in fibrotic tissue around implants was observed at one year after surgery in the micro-structured biosynthetic cellulose membranes compared with the standard of care. The anti-fibrotic properties and the overall reduction in foreign body reaction are the basic biological mechanisms to improve surgical outcome, prevent the onset of post-operative complications, and help patients in need.
In this project, HYLOMORPH aims to deploy the biosynthetic cellulose membranes in patients receiving cardiac rhythm management devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators.