Biocompatible and Biodegradable Films for Effective Prevention of Postoperative Adhesions

Shear modulus of polyelectrolyte complex (PEC) films (red) compared to soft tissue and competing materials (blue).

Invention Summary:

Adhesions often form after surgery, causing chronic abdominal or pelvic pain. Currently available adhesion prevention products form only a physical barrier against adhesions and have undesirable properties, such as brittleness and the inability to function in the presence of blood.

Rutgers scientists have developed novel biodegradable and non-toxic polyelectrolyte complex (PEC) films with anti-adhesive and anti-inflammatory properties. These PEC-based films are strong and flexible and can be inserted postoperatively as a physical barrier between tissues and organs at the wound site. In addition to this physical barrier, the negatively charged surface serves as an electrostatic barrier against cell adhesion. These films may be used following both laparotomy and laparoscopic surgeries. These films could serve as a local delivery vehicle for therapeutics. In vivo testing demonstrates that the PEC films prevent formation of adhesions following surgery.

Market Application:

  • Preventing postoperative adhesions
  • Drug delivery


  • Robust mechanical properties (shear modulus>1MPa)
  • Biodegradation over 1-2 weeks
  • Non-toxic film and non-toxic degradation products
  • Prevent adhesions (inhibit fibroblast attachment)
  • Anti-inflammatory (low TNF-α secretion)

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Issued US patent. In vitro and in vivo studies. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Lisa Lyu
Assistant Director
Rutgers University