Textile Engineering that Overcomes the Status Quo for General Surgery Applications

Biomedical Textiles for General SurgeryContrary to the name, general surgery is quite specialized. It relates to treating ailments of the esophagus and related organs; abdomen; breast, skin, and soft tissue; and endocrine system.[1] General surgery offerings continue to evolve and change as new procedures are developed. Less invasive surgical approaches have the potential to significantly improve overall patient outcomes, as well as reduce overall costs to the healthcare system. Patients undergoing minimally invasive surgery (MIS) generally report less post-surgical pain and more rapid recovery times than those treated with traditional open surgeries. The surgeons performing these MIS procedures often find them to be easier to perform and requiring less time in the operating room. Medical device companies have been able to bring smaller, lower profile medical devices to market that support these less invasive general surgery approaches in large part because of the incorporation of specialized biomedical textiles.

Increasingly, medical device OEMs are integrating biomedical textiles into their devices thanks to the material properties and nearly unlimited shapes and geometries that engineered textile structures can provide. Used both internally and externally for general surgery, textiles have become an important part of soft tissue repair, powered irrigation surgery, topical hemostasis, organ transplants, catheter reinforcement, catheter steering, orthopedic implants, plastic surgery applications, and breast reconstruction. Today, textiles are used in sutures, pain pads, wound dressings, surgical meshes, tissue engineering scaffolds, abdominal wall patches, medical fabrics, breast lift slings and more – and the possibilities are growing.

Inherent strength, flexibility, and biocompatibility make textiles ideal for integrating seamlessly into the human body, while enabling lower profile devices and less invasive surgical procedures. Textiles can be formed into many complex shapes and geometries with highly customized properties. They are much more compliant and sustainable than other animal-derived and bioresorbable materials on the market.  Implantable textiles are also chemically inert, corrosion-proof and offer favorable long-term performance.

Historically, the greatest barrier to textile innovation for general surgery and other applications has been a lack of willingness by textile manufacturers to move beyond the status quo – but that has changed. Cortland Biomedical is trusted by leading medical device OEMs to enable greater general surgery procedure innovation by designing and engineering braided, woven and knitted biomedical textiles fit-for-purpose. Cortland Biomedical bridges the gap between the medical and textile fields by providing access to cross-functional R&D teams comprised of experienced biomedical, mechanical, and textile engineers that leverage their skills to design with the end use of their constructions at the front of mind. This allows them to design truly purposeful form-fitting textile products for general surgery applications. Learn more.

Madeline Moncla, development engineer, Cortland Biomedical

[1]American Board of Surgery. Training and certification. absurgery.org February 2017