Microfibrillated celluloses or cellulose microfibrils (MFC) are new materials with high added value from biomass. Over the last ten years, they have attracted a growing interest, notably because of their excellent mechanical and barrier properties. Their industrialization has been announced since 2011.
The soft tissue repair device is one of the most widely used medical devices. With a market of 3 billion euros per year and an annual growth of 8%, it mainly concerns the repair of the ventral or inguinal hernias.
However, infectious complications remain a crucial problem for surgeons and health authorities in soft tissue surgery: they lead to increase in medico-social costs - new surgical procedures and medical treatments - a loss of quality of life and, above all, a decrease in life expectancy, especially in the case of oncology surgeries.
There is therefore a clear expectation of a solution enabling local control of the release of antiseptic in order to limit infectious complications or even analgesics to reduce postoperative pain.
It aims to use cellulose microfibrils (MFC) to develop a new class of biosourced and biocompatible substrates with controlled release of active molecules to improve medical devices for the repair of soft tissues in surgery.
Thus, various drugs and antiseptics will be chosen and immobilized (by grafting or absorption) on the MFCs deposited on the medical device or used alone to repair the soft tissues.
Initially, the work focuses on pre-treatments of biomass and, more specifically, cellulose in order to obtain high quality MFC grades.
In parallel, the active bioconjugates are prepared by innovative synthesis ways from oligosaccharides and selected active molecules.
Then, the new medical devices based on modified MFC are prepared on the scale of the demonstrator and the release of the molecules studied.
The basic idea of Cellical is to use biomass (with an industrial partner and a start-up) to manufacture medical systems for the repair of soft tissues (an industrial and a university laboratory) using MFCs functionalised with new bioactive molecules (a technical center and three university laboratories).