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New composite material may restore damaged soft tissue
Date:8/1/2011

long-term stability, the researchers injected different concentrations of PEG and HA under the skin and into the back muscle of rats, shone a green LED light on them to "gel" the material, and used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to monitor the persistence of the implant over time. The implants were examined at 47 and 110 days with MRIs and removed. Direct measurements and MRIs of the implants showed that the ones created from HA and the highest tested concentration of PEG with HA stayed put and were the same size over time compared to injections of only HA, which shrank over time.

The researchers evaluated the safety and persistence of the PEG-HA implants with a 12-week experiment in three volunteers already undergoing abdominoplasty, or "tummy tucks." Technicians injected about five drops of PEG-HA or HA alone under the belly skin. None of the participants experienced hospitalization, disability or death directly related to the implant, which was about 8 mm longor about as wide as a pinky fingernail. However, the participants said they sensed heat and pain during the gel setting process. Twelve-weeks after implantation, MRI revealed no loss of implant size in patients. Removal of the implants and inspection of the surrounding tissue revealed mild to moderate inflammation due to the presence of certain types of white blood cells. The researchers said the same inflammatory response was seen in rats, although the types of white blood cells responding to implant differed between the rodents and humans, a difference the researchers attribute to the back muscles the target tissue in the ratsbeing different than human belly fat.

"We still have to evaluate the persistence and safety of our material in other types of human tissues, like muscle or less fatty regions under the skin of the face, so we can optimize it for specific procedures," says Elisseeff.

Elisseeff said the team has especially high hopes for the composite's use in people w
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Contact: Vanessa McMains
vmcmain1@jhmi.edu
410-502-9410
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

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