Investigation of the Mechanical Behavior of Polyester Meshes for Abdominal Surgery: A Preliminary Study
Piero G. Pavan,
Arturo N. Natali
Due to the high cost of synthetic surgical meshes, sterilized non-medical-grade nets are being used for hernia repair in less developed countries, even if a prior in vitro evaluation of their mechanical behavior is still lacking. In this work, two multifilament polyester nets, with material composition, pore size and fiber diameter similar to surgical meshes, are studied. The mechanical properties are compared with the ones of a standard surgical mesh made of a monofilament polyester fiber. Uniaxial tensile tests are performed to evaluate the mechanical behavior, investigating specific aspects as the effect of sample size and strain rate. Mechanical tests highlight an anisotropic behavior in both industrial nets, with stiffness largely depending on test direction. The surgical mesh exhibits a linear anisotropic response, with a different stiffening behavior and a lower degree of anisotropy than industrial nets. Therefore, a different global mechanical response may be expected in vivo. This investigation of the mechanical properties of polyester industrial nets provides a preliminary support to their use for abdominal surgery, even though a different mechanical response is found respect to surgical mesh due to their different structural conformation.