Unmet Need: Harmless and controllable method of breast reconstruction
There were 290,467 procedures of breast augmentation and 109,256 procedures of post-mastectomy breast reconstruction in the United States in 2016. While these procedures provide a better quality of life and have psychosocial benefits for the patients, a better solution is needed to replace current surgical methods. The current surgical solutions for breast augmentation and reconstruction involve the use of encapsulated silicone/saline implants or tissue flaps. While the aforementioned methods introduce non-biocompatible materials into the human body and frequently leak, rupture, or cause inflammation, the latter brings about two surgical damages at two separate sites that can result in additional complications. Thus, an alternative solution that eliminates the need for non-biocompatible material and reduces the amount of surgical damage is needed.
The Technology: 3D tissue matrix scaffold for breast augmentation and reconstruction
Researchers at WSU are pioneering a novel alternative material for use in breast reconstruction and augmentation. The mammalian extracellular matrix (ECM) is comprised of a labyrinth of interconnected architecture that provides mechanical support and optimal tissue microenvironment for cell survival, growth, signal transduction and interaction. WSU inventors have generated a porous hydrogel Tissue Matrix Scaffold (TMS) from pig breast fatty tissues. Because the total ECM proteins used for TMS production are well conserved in humans, this product has a high level of biocompatibility. The biocompatibility of the TMS technology makes it suitable for reconstruction and regeneration of breast tissue and presents a superior alternative to what is currently available.
• Replacement of currently used silicone gel or silicone shell for implantation with hydrogel form of TMS.
• Breast shape recovery through native cells by implanting porous TMS with tissue-like resilience into the mammary space.
• Polymerized TMS maintains native ECM structure and tissue-like resilience, and supports robust cell survival and growth compared to other synthetic polymeric scaffolds.
• The injected TMS hydrogel is biocompatible and will be polymerized naturally at body temperature, producing no adverse health effects if leaking occurs.
• TMS allows compartmental co-culture to study interactions between various cell types and to facilitate tissue reconstruction.