In-vivo evaluation of a reinforced ovine biologic: a comparative study to available hernia mesh repair materials
Overbeck, N.; Nagvajara, G.M.; Ferzoco, S.; May, B.C.H.; Beierschmitt, A.; Qi, S.
Hernia the Journal of Hernias and Abdominal Wall Surgery 24(6): 1293-1306
ISSN/ISBN: 1248-9204 PMID: 32006122 DOI: 10.1007/s10029-019-02119-z
Two innovative reinforced biologic materials were studied in a non-human primate hernia repair model. The test articles, which combine layers of ovine decellularized extracellular matrix with minimal amounts of synthetic polymer, were evaluated for their biologic performance as measured by inflammatory response, healing kinetics, integration, and remodeling into functional host tissue. For comparison, seven clinically used biologic and synthetic meshes were also studied. Animals were implanted with test articles in surgically created full-thickness midline abdominal wall defects, and evaluated macroscopically and histologically at 4, 12, and 24 weeks. Macroscopically, biologics resorbed and remodeled into naturally appearing tissue; the reinforced biologics appeared similar, but remodeled earlier and were less prone to stretch. Synthetics developed a layer of reactive tissue above and separate from the contracted mesh structure. At early time points, the collagen networks of biologics and reinforced biologics were infiltrated by host cells primarily as a peripheral layer on the biologics. As early as 12 weeks, the collagen networks associated with the reinforced biologics remodeled into organized host collagen. By 24 weeks, both reinforced biologics and biologics had low levels of inflammation. In contrast, a foreign body response persisted at 24 weeks with the synthetics, which had developed less organized collagen, separate in space from the actual mesh. The current study shows a favorable response to reinforced biologics, which were associated with an initial inflammatory response, resolving by later time points, followed by active remodeling, and the formation of new morphologically functional collagen.