Oxidative Degradation of Polypropylene Mesh in E. coli Environment

Prabhath L. Gamage, Yixin Ren, Coreen M. Slape, Iravati M. Ambike, Adele C. Wallace, Anna K. Fiedler, Juan E. González, Michael C. Biewer, Philippe Zimmern, Mihaela C. Stefan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Medical implants of polypropylene (PP) are commonly used in many surgical procedures to support tissues. Previous studies on polypropylene meshes removed from patients demonstrated biodegradation relative to the amount of time after implantation. Among the many possible factors, bacterial colonization is believed to be one of the causes for the biodegradation of PP. To gain insights on this hypothesis, PP mesh samples were tested in Luria-Bertani broth (LB) media containing Escherichia coli (E. coli) to observe possible degradation in a controlled single-organism environment. Mesh samples were immersed in either an LB media with E. coli or a control solution, and the biodegradation was measured at 1-, 2-, and 3-month intervals. The samples were then harvested from both LB media with E. coli and the control media for analysis, and results were then compared with pristine polypropylene mesh. The experimental results demonstrate qualitative and quantitative bioerosion, increased oxygen content, and enhanced hydrophilicity over the surface of the mesh structure, thus confirming the oxidative degradation in vitro.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4027-4036
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Bio Materials
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 16 2019


  • Escherichia coli
  • bioerosion
  • oxidative degradation
  • polypropylene
  • surgical mesh

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biochemistry, medical


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