Biomechanical properties of synthetic and biologic graft materials following long-term implantation in the rabbit abdomen and vagina

Lisa M. Pierce, Melissa A. Grunlan, Yaping Hou, Shannon S. Baumann, Thomas J. Kuehl, Tristi W. Muir

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    41 Scopus citations


    Objective: We sought to evaluate the effects of anatomic location and ovariectomy on biomechanical properties of synthetic and biologic graft materials after long-term implantation. Study Design: A total of 35 rabbits underwent ovariectomy or sham laparotomy and were implanted with polypropylene (PP) mesh (n = 17) or cross-linked porcine dermis (PS) (n = 18) in the vagina and abdomen. Grafts were harvested 9 months later and underwent mechanical properties testing. Results: After implantation, PS was similar in strength (P = .52) but was twice as stiff as PP (P = .04) and had a maximal elongation only half that of PP (P < .001). Degradation of PS was associated with decreased ultimate tensile strength (P = .03) and elastic modulus (P = .046). Vaginal PP grafts shrunk more (P < .001) and were less stiff than abdominal PP grafts (P = .049) but were not different in strength (P = .19). Ovariectomy had no effect (P > .05). Conclusion: Cross-linked PS undergoes long-term degradation resulting in compromised biomechanical properties and thus is likely inferior to lightweight PP meshes for pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence procedures.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - May 2009



    • biologic graft
    • pelvic organ prolapse
    • polypropylene mesh
    • porcine dermis
    • rabbit model
    • synthetic graft

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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