This action signals a paradigm shift in the application of biomaterials from permanent prosthetic replacements toward regenerative medicine, in which materials help the body to repair itself and are then resorbed.

The device consists of a surgical mesh coated with a polymer developed using a Rutgers bioresorbable technology. The polymer gives the surgical mesh improved handling characteristics that facilitate precise placement during the surgical repair and leave less implant material following the resorption of the coating.

Hernias occur when musculature fails and one part of the body protrudes through the resulting gap or opening into another part of the body. And although a hernia can theoretically develop almost anywhere, most are in the groin and abdominal areas.

"The early research was conducted at the Rutgers-based New Jersey Center for Biomaterials (CBM) in Rutgers' chemistry laboratories," said Joachim Kohn, CBM director and Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. "There are only a handful of synthetic, degradable polymers that have an FDA approval history – therefore, the approval of this device employing a new biomaterial represents a major breakthrough for regenerative medicine," Kohn said.

The novel tyrosine-based polyarylates, as they are known chemically, arose from an adaptation of combinatorial chemistry to biomaterials. "Our approach uses two sets of starting materials that are combined with each other in all possible combinations," Kohn said. "In this way, we can create a large variety of related polymers from a small number of initial starting materials." The result in this case was a library of 112 structurally related materials created in parallel, each one potentially useful in a wide range of medical implant applications.; Source: Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey