The clinical advantage of MRI visualization of prostheses in soft tissue prolapses is very appealing as over 1,000000 MRI-transparent synthetic meshes are implanted annually, and postoperative complications such as mesh shrinkage and migration are frequent. Here, the synthesis of a new material composed of a DTPA-Gd complex grafted onto a backbone of PMA via a covalent bond is described (DTPA-Gd-PMA). This new polymer is sprayed onto meshes and gives an MR signal for a long period without any significant release of Gd. In vitro cytocompatibility tests on fibroblasts show limited cytotoxicity. Microscopic investigations indicate that vital cells rapidly colonize the material. Finally, coated meshes implanted in rats are easily recognizable using an MR imaging system.
This study aimed to investigate the in vitro behaviour of porous degradable scaffolds of the PLA-PEO-PLA-type designed prior to in vivo evaluation for skin tissue engineering. Two tri-block co-polymers were synthesized from PEO and DL-lactide and their degradation was studied under conditions that mimic a cutaneous wound environment. 3-D porous scaffolds with interconnected pores were fabricated using the salt leaching method and characterized by ESEM and Hg porosimetry. The degrading action of gamma sterilization was studied on the co-polymers. The less degraded one was selected to make porous scaffolds on which human dermal fibroblasts and human epidermal keratinocytes were cultured. The capacity of such scaffolds to act as a dermal equivalent was also considered. Colonization by human dermal fibroblasts was shown after hematoxylin staining and the production of major proteins normally found in the extracellular matrix was assessed by Western blotting of protein extracts. Finally, a skin substitute was generated by seeding human keratinocytes on the dermal equivalent and a new epidermis was characterized by using immuno-histological staining. Results show that gamma sterilization and that degradation under conditions that mimic skin wound healing were acceptable. The fact that fibroblasts produce extracellular matrix and that keratinocytes generated an epidermal barrier argues in favour of the interest of this type of porous scaffold for skin reconstruction.
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