The quest for a better breast implant coating—one that could help reduce the risk of capsular contracture and other complications—has been ongoing, and a new product made from spider silk, of all things, is making some headway.
The German company AMSilk has completed preclinical testing of its proprietary silicone implant coating BioShield-S1, and so far, so good.
The coating consists of a thin layer of spider silk proteins that modifies the implant. It can be applied to any silicone implant in the final production step, just prior to packaging and sterilization, and does not alter the mechanical performance of the implant.
The preclinical results, which appear in Advanced Functional Materials, show that the new coating significantly reduces the rate of major postoperative complications, such as capsular fibrosis, capsular thickness, hardening, and inflammation. This is likely due to the reduction of the typical foreign body-induced infiltration and differentiation of immune cells. The coating also results in a change in collagen processing and fiber formation in the scar tissue that is consistent with a reduced risk of capsule formation over time. The coating modulated the foreign body response to the implant and is expected to reduce the risk of corrective surgery after cosmetic surgery and breast reconstruction, report researchers from the University Hospital of Leipzig in Germany.