Design of an injectable synthetic and biodegradable surgical biomaterial
We report the design of an injectable synthetic and biodegradable polymeric biomaterial comprised of polyethylene glycol and a polycarbonate of dihydroxyacetone (MPEG-pDHA). MPEG-pDHA is a thixotropic physically cross-linked hydrogel, displays rapid chain relaxation, is easily extruded through narrow-gauge needles, biodegrades into inert products, and is well tolerated by soft tissues. We demonstrate the clinical utility of MPEG-pDHA in the prevention of seroma, a common postoperative complication following ablative and reconstructive surgeries, in an animal model of radical breast mastectomy. This polymer holds significant promise for clinical applicability in a host of surgical procedures ranging from cosmetic surgery to cancer resection.