Surgical mesh is an expensive and time-consuming surgical procedure that is used to prevent infection and prevent pregnancy after women have had surgery.
The mesh is made from a special type of plastic that can be cut into tiny pieces, often called “plastic” or “plastron”.
But it is a poor choice when it comes to removing an infected vagina from the uterus.
But researchers are looking to make the procedure more safe by replacing the mesh with a biodegradable material that is more resilient to the elements.
The new material could be a plastic-based gel, or polyethylene terephthalate (PET), said study leader, Dr. Thomas K. Wong.
“It’s an amazing material for vaginal surgery because it has the properties that are necessary to remove the uterus,” Wong said.
“We want to see if this material can be used to replace a high-cost surgical mesh in vaginal surgery.”
The researchers are working on developing a test gel to identify the material’s characteristics, and then developing a biocompatible gel that can work with the material in the vagina.
“If you can do that in the future, you will be able to get an easier and safer vaginal surgery procedure,” Wong added.
The researchers also hope that the new gel will be easy to remove and the material could also be used for other types of surgery, such as a caesarean section or vaginoplasty.
The gel’s durability has already been tested by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, who found it to be about 10 percent thinner than a standard surgical mesh.
The polymer gel has been in use in the clinic since the 1950s, but it was not until the 1980s that the material was approved for use in surgical procedures, according to the American Society for Microbiology.
Wong said the gel’s composition and durability were important because it could be used in other types and at different temperatures.
The team hopes to conduct clinical trials by early next year.
“Our aim is to start commercialization of the gel in the coming year,” Wong told Reuters Health by email.
The study was published online this week in the journal PLOS ONE.
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