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Elastomeric Auxetic Urogential Meshes: Exploring Alternatives to Knitted Polypropylene


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To date, we have completed the finite element analysis (FEA) of various auxetic geometries and have selected the geometry that we deem is the mostappropriate for our novel mesh. A paper detailing the results from the FEA was submitted to the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering and is currentlyundergoing a second review, with a high probability of publication. We have manufactured the novel elastomeric auxetic mesh frompolydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). PDMS is a soft elastomer that has a material stiffness which is similar to vaginal tissue (PDMS material stiffness = 9.9MPa, vaginal stiffness = 6-14 MPa). Using mechanical testing, we have verified that the pores of this novel mesh expand in response to mechanicalloading and that this mesh has elastic-like property (i.e. the mesh returns to its original configuration when stretched). We have completedimplantations on 10 Sham-operated animals (no mesh implanted) and 7 mesh implanted animals. We have also begun the testing and analysis oftissue and histological examination of the immune response to mesh in the rabbit vagina. Our preliminary mechanical testing results reveal thatprolapse mesh negatively impacts the contractile function of vaginal smooth muscle (VSM) in a similar manner as it does the nonhuman primate.These results are significant and suggest that the rabbit is an appropriate model for assessing the impact of prolapse mesh on the rabbit VSM.Currently, we are exploring new options for another elastomer, polycarbonate urethane, from which to manufacture our novel device. In the nextreporting period, we will continue manufacturing the elastomeric auxetic mesh and implanting it into animals until we have reached our study endpoints.



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