A tissue-engineered approach to hernia repair

  • Ivan Hall Barrientos

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Hernia repairs are among the most common surgical procedures performed, with more than 20 million hernias estimated to be repaired every year around the world. Mesh insertion is the most common method of treatment, with the mesh typically being made from polypropylene (PP). Significant complications can arise from PP meshes that include chronic infection, inflammation and pain. Electrospinning, a technique that utilises electric forces to create micro- and nanofibres, was used to fabricate a new-generation of hernia mesh (drug-loaded polymeric mesh). Solutions of polycaprolactone (PCL) or polylactic acid (PLA), two aliphatic polymers commonly used in various clinical applications, were individually mixed with irgasan (IRG) (an antibacterial agent) or levofloxacin (LEVO) (a broad-spectrum antibiotic). Type I collagen was later included into the polymer-drug solutions in order to increase the biocompatibility of the samples. Electrospun samples were subsequently analysed for mechanical, physicochemical, drug release and biological characteristics. Electrospinning was useful in creating micro- and nano- fibres for polymer-drug combinations. IRG-loaded scaffolds displayed a sustained release behaviour, whilst LEVO-loaded scaffolds showed a burst release. The addition of type I collagen modified the release rate of PLA-LEVO scaffolds from burst to sustained release, and modified surface characteristics from hydrophilic to hydrophobic. Biological studies demonstrated smooth muscle cells affinity to LEVO-loaded scaffolds, with high adhesion and proliferation, whilst also demonstrating significant resistance to bacterial growth (E. coli and S. aureus).
Date of Award29 May 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsEPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
SupervisorClive Wilson (Supervisor) & Richard Anthony Black (Supervisor)

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