Sacramento, California – Repair can be the best treatment for a congenital diaphragmatic hernia, but the best material for the repair material is unclear. Indeed, the recurrence rate for patch-repaired large hernias is about 50%.
Now, a team at the University of California Davis has, in collaboration with a group at the University of Texas at Arlington, has been looking at the problem. The researchers have developed a biodegradable polyurethane patch that could have potential.
Gore-Tex material, made from polytetrafluoroethylene, is commonly used, but it is not biodegradable. The new material was designed to replicate the mechanical properties of the diaphragm muscle itself.
The polyurethane was synthesised from polycaprolactone, hexadiisocyanate and putrescine. It was then processed into fibrous PU patches via electrospinning. The effectiveness of the patches was compared to that of Gore-Tex patches in a rat model. After four weeks, there were no hernia recurrences, but the PU patch gave better rise in the repaired diaphragm. Both had similar inflammatory responses.
Further work is required, they said, to evaluate the functional outcomes in the longer term. Further optimisation of the PU patch’s properties is also required.
The work has been published in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery.