Polypropylene surgical mesh coated with extracellular matrix mitigates the host foreign body response

Matthew T. Wolf, Christopher A. Carruthers, Christopher L. Dearth, Peter M. Crapo, Alexander Huber, Olivia A. Burnsed, Ricardo Londono, Scott A. Johnson, Kerry A. Daly, Elizabeth C. Stahl, John M. Freund, Christopher J. Medberry, Lisa E. Carey, Alejandro Nieponice, Nicholas J. Amoroso, Stephen F. Badylak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Surgical mesh devices composed of synthetic materials are commonly used for ventral hernia repair. These materials provide robust mechanical strength and are quickly incorporated into host tissue; factors that contribute to reduced hernia recurrence rates. However, such mesh devices cause a foreign body response with the associated complications of fibrosis and patient discomfort. In contrast, surgical mesh devices composed of naturally occurring extracellular matrix (ECM) are associated with constructive tissue remodeling, but lack the mechanical strength of synthetic materials. A method for applying a porcine dermal ECM hydrogel coating to a polypropylene mesh is described herein with the associated effects upon the host tissue response and biaxial mechanical behavior. Uncoated and ECM coated heavy-weight BARD™ Mesh were compared to the light-weight ULTRAPRO™ and BARD™ Soft Mesh devices in a rat partial thickness abdominal defect overlay model. The ECM coated mesh attenuated the pro-inflammatory response compared to all other devices, with a reduced cell accumulation and fewer foreign body giant cells. The ECM coating degraded by 35 days, and was replaced with loose connective tissue compared to the dense collagenous tissue associated with the uncoated polypropylene mesh device. Biaxial mechanical characterization showed that all of the mesh devices were of similar isotropic stiffness. Upon explanation, the light-weight mesh devices were more compliant than the coated or uncoated heavy-weight devices. This study shows that an ECM coating alters the default host response to a polypropylene mesh, but not the mechanical properties in an acute in vivo abdominal repair model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-246
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • coated surgical mesh
  • extracellular matrix
  • foreign body response
  • polypropylene
  • surgical mesh


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