Repair or replacement of human tissue damaged by illness or injury is fraught with complications, and the Hohenstein Institute, Boenningheim, Germany, is making progress on one of them—bio tolerance of textile implants. Textile implants, even those made of resorbable biopolymers such as polylactic acid, break down. The acidic waste products can inflame the wound or lead to implant rejection. Rapid blood vessel generation at the implant site can improve bio tolerance in human tissue, so the Hohenstein Institute developed a textile matrix that can promote vessel growth.
Researchers coated the fiber matrix of the implant with molecules that would adhere to human adult stem cells and then colonized the implants with stem cells known to direct blood vessel growth. New blood vessels grew within the implant and formed a capillary network. New capillaries ensure that acidic decomposition products from the breakdown of resorbable textile implants can be quickly transported away from the area, at the same time bringing nutrients to the regenerating tissue.