Degradable Silk Film Constructs for Pelvic Organ Prolapse Repair.
organ prolapse is a serious health condition that may affect 11.1% of all women and up
to 20% of women who have gone through natural childbirth. Known as POP, the condition is
characterized by a soft tissue failure which leads to the prolapse of the bladder,
vaginal apex, uterus, rectum, or bowel into the vaginal canal. The most popular form of
surgical correction used in the ... read morepast two decades has been through the permanent
implantation of surgical meshes fabricated from synthetic polymers. Recently, however,
the FDA has released a statement definitively labeling the devices as unsafe and
recommending doctors to warn against their use. As a result, modern mesh manufacturers
have been the target of numerous, multi-million dollar lawsuits due to serious physical
and emotional trauma experienced by many women who have suffered serious damage.
Regenerated silk films formed into mesh devices may be a safe and attractive alternative
to current pelvic tissue repair options due to silk's programmable degradation and
proven biocompatibility. The focus of this research is on various silk film processing
and post-processing methods and how they affect films' mechanical strength data, in
vitro degradation profiles, and crystallinity classifications. The data provides
important guidance for silk film customization in future biomedical device design and
gives insight into film formation mechanics. Future in vivo testing is necessary to
further explore silk's feasibility as a degradable substitute for current POP
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2013.
Submitted to the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Advisor: Gary Leisk.
Committee: David Kaplan, and Luisa Chiesa.
Keywords: Mechanical engineering, Biomechanics, and Biomedical engineering.read less
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