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Covidien, U. Missouri Collaborate on Hernia-Surgery Research

Earlier this month, Covidien granted the University of Missouri-Columbia's School of Medicine $750,000 to come up with safer hernia-surgery procedures that could result in easier recovery for patients. The funds will help develop a materials characterization laboratory, where researchers will study materials typically implanted during procedures to repair abdominal hernias. Surgeons currently use a 50-year-old procedure in which propylene mesh is inserted to patch the hernia.

Propylene is preferred because it is linked to low occurrences of infection and other complications, but it does not remain stable once implanted. So researchers at the university's Biodesign and Innovation Program will study why the mesh changes size, shape, and even color once implanted, and how to prevent that. Changes associated with other materials will also be investigated.

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