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Blow Spin Polymer for Surgical Applications

Image banner for Blow Spin Polymer project

Key Personnel

  • Anthony Sandler, MD
  • Priya Srinivasan PhD
  • Lina Chakrabarti, PhD
  • Peter Kofinas, PhD (UMD)
  • Adam Behrens (UMD)

While conventional suturing is still ubiquitous in surgery, tissue sealants that could improve usability, outcome, and patient comfort have great potential applications. Hence we have used solution blow spinning for the direct deposition of polymer fiber mats as surgical sealants. Solution blow spinning is a polymer fiber mat fabrication technique that requires only a simple apparatus, a concentrated polymer solution in a volatile solvent, and a high-pressure gas source. This technique does not have the high voltage and conductivity requirements of electrospinning and does not suffer from a slow deposition rate. This allows for direct deposition on any substrate including use in surgery.  A commercially available airbrush (Master Airbrush, G222-SET gravitational feed) was used in all studies. Gas flow rate was varied using compressed carbon dioxide. SEM and optical microscopy were used to characterize morphology. Thermal transitions were characterized by DSC. Adhesive testing utilized an Instron mechanical tester with temperature control. Degradation was investigated by molecular weight change (GPC). In vitro biocompatibility was investigated with MTS assays. Pilot animal studies were used to illustrate potential applications. Through the use of biodegradable polymer blends and solution blow spinning, a method to conformally apply an adhesive surgical sealant was developed. Directly deposited fibers of certain polymer blends exhibit thermal responsive behavior at topical (32°C) and internal (37°C) temperature conditions. Upon reaching the phase transition, polymer fibers weld together, and the majority component becomes plasticized. In vitro cell viability showed no decrease of the direct deposition of fibers relative to the live control.