Composite mesh design for delivery of autologous mesenchymal stem cells influences mesh integration, exposure and biocompatibility in an ovine model of pelvic organ prolapse

S. Emmerson, S. Mukherjee, J. Melendez-Munoz, F. Cousins, S. L. Edwards, P. Karjalainen, M. Ng, K. S. Tan, S. Darzi, K. Bhakoo, A. Rosamilia, J. A. Werkmeister, C. E. Gargett

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The widespread use of synthetic transvaginal polypropylene mesh for treating Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) has been curtailed due to serious adverse effects highlighted in 2008 and 2011 FDA warnings and subsequent legal action. We are developing new synthetic mesh to deliver endometrial mesenchymal stem cells (eMSC) to improve mesh biocompatibility and restore strength to prolapsed vaginal tissue. Here we evaluated knitted polyamide (PA) mesh in an ovine multiparous model using transvaginal implantation and matched for the degree of POP. Polyamide mesh dip-coated in gelatin and stabilised with 0.5% glutaraldehyde (PA/G) were used either alone or seeded with autologous ovine eMSC (eMSC/PA/G), which resulted in substantial mesh folding, poor tissue integration and 42% mesh exposure in the ovine model. In contrast, a two-step insertion protocol, whereby the uncoated PA mesh was inserted transvaginally followed by application of autologous eMSC in a gelatin hydrogel onto the mesh and crosslinked with blue light (PA + eMSC/G), integrated well with little folding and no mesh exposure. The autologous ovine eMSC survived 30 days in vivo but had no effect on mesh integration. The stiff PA/G constructs provoked greater myofibroblast and inflammatory responses in the vaginal wall, disrupted the muscularis layer and reduced elastin fibres compared to PA + eMSC/G constructs. This study identified the superiority of a two-step protocol for implanting synthetic mesh in cellular compatible composite constructs and simpler surgical application, providing additional translational value.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119495
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Autologous
  • Endometrial MSC
  • Mesh exposure
  • MSC
  • Ovine
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Polyamide
  • Tissue engineering

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