L. Costella, C. Tison
Luna Innovations, United States
Keywords: hydrogel, adhesion, small bowel obstructionAny form of abdominal surgery can induce post-operative adhesion formation when fibrous bands form between injured tissues during aberrant wound healing, resulting in small bowel obstruction, female infertility, and chronic pain. Current products for adhesion prevention are difficult to apply and fail to properly address this severe surgical complication. Luna therefore developed a unique sprayable hydrogel to act as a physical barrier between tissues and protect susceptible tissue surfaces from forming adhesions. The hydrogel is applied as a two-component system in which the biopolymers interact to form an easily-visualized gel that will enzymatically degrade once the adhesion-formation window has passed. Luna has demonstrated the efficacy for a sprayable hydrogel to prevent postoperative adhesions as a physical barrier between the injured surfaces in several animal models. Design controls are being implemented to facilitate regulatory approvals, and a transition effort is being developed to determine pathways to clinical application. As a small business, Luna is working to identify methods of funding first-in-human studies to better present this technology for licensing or acquisition by a larger medical device company.