Research on new generation of safer mesh implants.
Introduction: The current mesh implants (Fig. 1) are composed of polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) and polyvinylidenefluoride (PVDF).1 Mesh implants have been widely used, but given the number of complications associated with mesh insertion, and the recent media coverage relating to the lawsuit against the National Health Service (NHS) in UK for the current use of polypropylene mesh inserts (http://bbc.in/2oHu7zT), pursuing research for the development of a new generation of mesh inserts is now of the utmost importance for the future of patient care and recovery. Potential mesh-related complications include chronic infections, chronic pain and mesh rupture. There is a need to have a mesh implant that is softer with characteristics that resemble native muscles, and on the same time reduce the risk of infection, with bespoke production for cost reduction. The mechanical properties of the mesh and the compatibility between the materials and the tissues are critical in healing; tissue incorporation is a key goal, which is dependent on the material, density, compliance and electric charge of the mesh.2 This is especially important if the risk of graft failure is high and complications due to infection are experienced. These limitations stimulate research into new methods of fabrication (e.g. 3D printing and high-speed rotary spinning), and by incorporating biomaterials and drug encapsulation in these mesh matrices.3