Prevention of surgical adhesions with barriers of carboxymethylcellulose and poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels synthesized by irradiation



Biocompatible and biodegradable hydrogels based on carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) were prepared as physical barriers for preventing surgical adhesions. These interpolymeric hydrogels were synthesized by a γ-irradiation crosslinking technique. Sections (1.5 cm × 1.5 cm) of the cecal serosa and an adjacent abdominal wall were abraded with a bone burr until the serosal surface was disrupted and hemorrhagic but not perforated, and the serosa of the cecum was sutured to the abdominal wall 5 mm away from the injured site. The denuded cecum was covered with either CMC/PEG hydrogels or a solution from a CMC/PEG hydrogel. A control rat serosa was not covered. Two weeks later, the rats were killed, and the adhesions were scored on a 0–5 scale. No treatment showed a significantly higher incidence of adhesions than the CMC/PEG hydrogels or solutions from the CMC/PEG hydrogels. This study demonstrated that CMC/PEG hydrogels could prevent intra-abdominal adhesion in a rat model. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 96: 1138–1145, 2005