It is estimated that patients receive more than 10 million medical implants each year worldwide, notably in connection with cardiovascular and plastic surgery. 

Owing to the sub-optimal biocompatibility of existing medical implants, every time a surgeon places such an implant in a patient, fibrosis occurs in the surrounding tissue. The patient’s immune system responds with what is known as the foreign body reaction, in which the hosting tissue recognizes the implant as foreign and covers it with a thick layer of fibrotic tissue in an attempt to isolate, destroy and expel it.

Fibrosis is among the primary causes of the malfunction and failure of implantable medical devices. It is also associated with infections and can cause pain. Consequently, revision surgeries are often required post-implant, leading to a costly and lengthy recovery process. It has been reported that up to 20% of all implanted patients need correcting intervention and implant replacement because of fibrosis.

To address this critical medical need, the HYLOMORPH team has developed a unique surgical membrane that optimizes the interface between implants and human tissue. Preparation of the membrane takes place using a patented biotech process, in which non-pathogenic bacteria are cultured in combination with micro-engineered silicone surfaces to produce thin films of nano-cellulose, featuring a finely controlled surface topography. In the team’s pre-clinical studies, micro-structured biosynthesized cellulose membranes led to an 80% reduction in fibrotic tissue formation at three months after surgery.