Polyelectrolyte complex membranes for prevention of post-surgical adhesions in neurosurgery

Devendra Verma, Michelle L. Previtera, Rene Schloss, Noshir Langrana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Adhesions are bands of tissue that can form after the surgery and bind together the surrounding tissue in the vicinity of the surgical site. In this work, polyelectrolyte complex (PEC)-based membranes were developed and investigated for their potential application as anti-adhesion barriers after neurosurgery. The adhesion and migration behavior of fibroblast and mixed neuronal cells were also investigated. Fibroblasts cells neither adhered nor migrated onto the PEC material after 5 days in vitro. Similar behaviors were observed for neurons and astrocytes cells. Swelling experiments of these membranes showed that the membranes are extremely hygroscopic and absorb significant amount of water. Membranes containing 70% alginate absorbed the highest amount of water (442 ± 24% of dry wet). PEC content was highest in 50% alginate containing membranes (87.1 ± 6.7%). The membrane's mechanical properties were attributed to combined contribution of water absorption and PEC content. Drug release profiles were investigated using albumin as a model drug. Membranes containing 70% alginate showed highest initial drug release rate followed by membranes containing 60 and 50% alginate. Membranes were stable and did not dissolve for 1 month in phosphate buffer and lysozyme solutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1949-1960
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering


  • Anti-adhesion
  • Chitosan-Alginate
  • Peridural fibrosis
  • Swelling

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