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Prosthetic Meshes for Repair of Hernia and Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Comparison of Biomechanical Properties

Institute of Mechanical Systems, ETH Zurich, Leonhardstrasse 21, Zurich 8092, Switzerland
Center for Surgical Technologies, Faculty of Medicine, Universitair Ziekenhuis “Gasthuisberg” Leuven, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven 3000, Belgium
Empa—Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Überlandstrasse 129, Dübendorf 8600, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Amir A. Zadpoor
Materials 2015, 8(5), 2794-2808;
Received: 20 April 2015 / Accepted: 14 May 2015 / Published: 22 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanics of Biomaterials)
PDF [1637 KB, uploaded 22 May 2015]


This study aims to compare the mechanical behavior of synthetic meshes used for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and hernia repair. The analysis is based on a comprehensive experimental protocol, which included uniaxial and biaxial tension, cyclic loading and testing of meshes in dry conditions and embedded into an elastomer matrix. Implants are grouped as POP or hernia meshes, as indicated by the manufacturer, and their stiffness in different loading configurations, area density and porosity are compared. Hernia meshes might be expected to be stiffer, since they are implanted into a stiffer tissue (abdominal wall) than POP meshes (vaginal wall). Contrary to this, hernia meshes have a generally lower secant stiffness than POP meshes. For example, DynaMesh PRS, a POP mesh, is up to two orders of magnitude stiffer in all tested configurations than DynaMesh ENDOLAP, a hernia mesh. Additionally, lighter, large pore implants might be expected to be more compliant, which was shown to be generally not true. In particular, Restorelle, the lightest mesh with the largest pores, is less compliant in the tested configurations than Surgipro, the heaviest, small-pore implant. Our study raises the question of defining a meaningful design target for meshes in terms of mechanical biocompatibility. View Full-Text
Keywords: mechanical biocompatibility; mesh prostheses; POP meshes; hernia meshes mechanical biocompatibility; mesh prostheses; POP meshes; hernia meshes

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Maurer, M.M.; Röhrnbauer, B.; Feola, A.; Deprest, J.; Mazza, E. Prosthetic Meshes for Repair of Hernia and Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Comparison of Biomechanical Properties. Materials 2015, 8, 2794-2808.

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