Weill Cornell Researchers Announce Dissolvable Medical Device

Weill Cornell Medical College pic

Weill Cornell Medical College
Image: news.weill.cornell.edu

Dedicated to the advancement of medical science, Dr. Mitchell Blutt has promoted and supported research in both the public and private sectors. Dr. Mitchell Blutt leads as CEO of healthcare investment group Consonance Capital and serves on the Dean’s Council of Weill Cornell Medical College.

In July of 2017, researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College announced the creation of a dissolvable device that could decrease the risk of damage to internal organs during the closing phase of surgery. The device was developed largely due to the practice experiences of Dr. Jason Spector, a plastic surgeon and professor at Weill Cornell. Noting that medical science at the time offered no way of protecting the vital organs during surgical wound closure, thus leaving many patients at risk of internal damage, he consulted with biomedical engineering professor Dr. David Putnam.

Dr. Putnam reported that his graduate student, Nicole Ricapito, had developed a material that was not only strong enough to protect intestinal tissue and flexible enough to pass through a minimally-invasive surgical incision, but also capable of dissolving in the patient’s body. Drs. Putnam and Spector used this compound, made of polyethylene glycol and dihydroxyacetone (DHA), to craft a device that effectively protected mouse intestines during abdominal suturing and then rapidly dissolved in the abdominal cavity.

The researchers found that because DHA and polyethylene glycol both dissolve when exposed to water, the device would break down in less than three hours with no lasting effects. Encouraged by these results, the researchers are currently moving toward pre-clinical testing, to ensure that the technology is safe and effective enough to introduce into the commercial market.

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