A new “nonwoven” material developed by Freudenberg, which has its North America headquarters in Plymouth Township, will open up new and innovative possibilities in surgical, wound care, and regenerative medicine.
The new technology will allow medical professionals to place drugs exactly where they are needed in a patient during surgery before they are released in a controlled manner. The nonwoven fabric is made of bioresorbable materials that are later absorbed by the body.
“For the patient, this has the advantage that no second surgery is needed to remove the product,” says Denis Reibel, Freudenberg’s project leader. He says drugs, enzymes, or growth hormones can be incorporated directly into the fabric for later application in surgery, wound healing, and regenerative medicine.
The nonwoven fabric, called scaffolene, is flexible and tear-resistant in its dry state and retains its structure and resists clumping when wet. This means that it can be easily and safely moved into the right place in the body during surgery, for example, to stop bleeding, Reibel says.
The fabrics can be customized to meet specific medical requirements, and can also treat surgical sites, promote healing of open wounds, or rebuild a bone after a fracture. Afterward, the fabric dissolves into the body.
Reibel says Freudenberg, which is a German-based company, first began researching and developing scaffolene in 2007, after a customer requested a bioresorbable, nonwoven fabric made of gelatin for medical applications.