BACKGROUND: The specific aim of this study was to determine the whether a novel, hydrogel-coated polyester mesh (Scout) can be used to reduce the incidence and severity of adhesion formation in vivo.
METHODS: An established rat model of post-surgical adhesion formation was used in which adhesions are generated through surgical trauma to the surfaces of the cecum and the adjacent abdominal wall. Thirty-seven rats were randomly allocated either to a control group (no intervention; n=14 rats) or to one of two treatment groups in which the abraded surfaces were separated with either the Scout material (n=11 rats) or an FDA-approved form of expanded polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) (PRECLUDE Vessel Guard; n=12 rats). Animals were euthanized 7 d after surgery and gross necropsy examinations were performed. Mechanical testing was used to measure the strength of any adhesions that were identified, and histology was used to characterize within the adhesion tissue and on the surface(s) of the barrier materials.
RESULTS: Five animals were excluded because of surgical failure (1 control; 2 PRECLUDE Vessel Guard; 2 Scout). Adhesions were seen in 10 of 13 control animals (77%). There were no adhesions in any of the animals treated with either PRECLUDE Vessel Guard or Scout material. Histology demonstrated mild cellular adhesion to both the PRECLUDE Vessel Guard and the Scout material. Although there was a sub-acute to chronic inflammatory response to the surgical trauma, there was no evidence of delamination, shearing, or degradation of either the Scout material or PRECLUDE Vessel Guard.
CONCLUSIONS: The hydrogel-coated Scout material was as effective as the approved predicate material in this model. Both materials were well tolerated. Further testing of the Scout material is now warranted.