Two Alabama doctors have developed a medical device using sugar-based polymers that could help separate and support tissues during surgery, and help the wound to heal.
The proprietary membranes are composed of dense chitosan, a natural and non-toxic sugar polymer that is usually prepared from the chitin shells of shrimp, according to a press release announcing the device. The innovation is patent-pending and was developed by Agenta Biotechnologies, located in Birmingham, AL. Magenta Medical Inc. has been incorporated to manufacture the new type of device.
“We are the first company to develop chitosan, a well-known material, into a suture-able membrane form with excellent properties for use in the clinic,” says Dr. Tom Dooley, one of the co-founders of Magenta. “We expect that this unique technology will be a game-changer for the commercial surgical membrane marketplace.”
Dr. Arthur DeCarlo, another co-founder, and a clinician and medical researcher, conceived of the idea of the device while considering the literal and figurative “weaknesses” of current commercial surgical membranes, such as collagen membranes. The developers believe the dense chitosan membranes can be used by oral, orthopedic, general, plastic, and dermatologic surgeons. In addition to serving as surgical membranes, the device also may be used as wound dressing and to deliver active ingredients, such as drugs and vaccines to the patient’s body.
The results of the research, supported by a grant from the National Institute of Health, on the membrane technology, were published in the Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition. The company anticipates a 2012 filing of a medical device application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in oral surgery. Magenta is seeking investors and business partners to hasten the commercialization of the new product
Source: “Magenta Medical to Commercialize New Surgical Membrane Products,” Business Wire via MarketWatch, 7/10/12
Image by Divya MU, used under its Creative Commons license.
Dale McGeehon has been a journalist and editor for more than 25 years, covering chemical regulation and testing for Pesticides and Toxic Chemical News and innovations in material sciences for the National Technology Transfer Center. His writing credits include Omni and College Park magazines and The New York Times.