Tissue, Scaffold Technologies Improve Restoration Outcomes for Breast Cancer, Other Diseases

March 10, 2021
Aislinn Antrim, Associate Editor

When applied as a filler for soft tissue defects and voids, the regenerative tissue filler shows promise for accelerating and improving tissue restoration outcomes.

New technology from researchers at Purdue University may help improve tissue restoration for individuals with breast cancer and other diseases or traumatic injuries, according to a press release.

The regenerative tissue filler is a first-of-its-kind, in situ scaffold-forming collagen. When applied as a filler for soft tissue defects and voids, it shows promise for accelerating and improving tissue restoration outcomes, according to the press release. The investigators worked with breast surgeon Carla Fisher, MD, and the startup GeniPhys to perform preclinical studies.

“It would assist in maintaining the quality of life and emotional well-being of millions of breast cancer survivors each year worldwide,” said Sherry Harbin, PhD, a professor in Purdue’s Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, in the press release.

The investigators designed and patented the collagen polymer used in the technology. When applied to breast tissue voids, such as those associated with breast conserving surgery, the investigators found that it restored breast shape and consistency and supported new breast tissue formation over time, including mammary glands, ducts, and adipose tissue, according to the study. The filler also helped avoid wound contraction and scar formation, which can be painful and can contribute to breast deformities.

“Such an approach may also benefit other patient populations in need of soft tissue restoration or reconstruction, including children with congenital defects, individuals with difficult-to-heal skin ulcers, individuals suffering from traumatic injuries, and cancer patients requiring resection of tumors within tissues other than breast,” Harbin said in the release.

The research was conducted using a National Science Foundation SBIR Phase I award granted to GeniPhys. The filler represents a highly purified liquid collagen protein, that when brought to physiologic conditions by mixing with a proprietary buffer, can be applied to tissue voids. It conforms to patient-specific void geometries and then undergoes a self-assembly reaction to form a fibrillar collagen scaffold like those that make up the body’s tissues, according to the press release.

“This tissue filler represents the first planned medical product developed using our innovative collagen polymer technology,” Harbin said in the press release. “This collagen polymer supports custom fabrication of a broad range of collagen materials for various applications including tissue restoration, therapeutic cell and drug delivery, or enhancement of tissue-implantable device interfaces.”

REFERENCE

Tissue filler, scaffold technologies provide new options for patients with breast cancer, other diseases [news release]. Purdue University; March 2, 2021. https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2021/Q1/tissue-filler,-scaffold-technologies-provide-new-options-for-patients-with-breast-cancer,-other-diseases.html. Accessed March 4, 2021.