Project Image:
Title of the project:
Inversion gel (InGel) to prevent pathological adhesions in the abdominal cavity
Bioactive Implants as Adhesion Barriers
Project leader:
Prof. Dr. Burkhard Schlosshauer
Project funding:
  • Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
Project management:
  • VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH
Funding reference number:

In the course of this project, a resorbable, biocompatible and minimally invasive adhesion barrier will be developed. The inversion principle will be applied, using a matrix for vascularless tissue formation, e.g. cartilage tissue, to prevent vascular-dependent scar formation and thus adhesion.


The medical goal is the development of a bioactive adhesion barrier as an implant. 60-90% of all abdominal surgeries lead to pathological adhesions. Chronic pain, infertility and lethal intestinal obstructions can be the consequences. Several membrane-like and liquid adhesion barriers applied between injured tissue surfaces are clinically approved, but are not generally accepted due to insufficient efficacy. In order to prevent adhesions, an ideal adhesion barrier should be minimally invasive (liquid) and adaptable to any tissue topography, show excellent biocompatibility, not allow inflammation, vascularization and scar tissue formation and be resorbed after a few weeks. Furthermore, an adhesion barrier should be cost-effective, storage stable and easy to handle. In view of 1.6 million gynaecological procedures in the USA alone in the year 2000, the international adhesion barrier market is estimated at approximately $500 million.

Based on a biological antagonism of matrix molecules to different cell types, this project aims to implement a novel inversion principle: an implant matrix suitable for vascular-free tissue formation (e.g. cartilage) would, in turn, have to suppress vascular-dependent scar formation (here especially adhesion between different tissue surfaces in the abdominal cavity), since the cells involved have opposite (= inverted) cell-matrix dependencies. In fact, we were able to demonstrate in pilot experiments that a special albumin-based hydrogel shows exactly these properties, since on the one hand cartilage tissue is promoted and on the other hand adhesion formation in the abdominal cavity is prevented. The aim of the project is a) to further develop the chemical/technical properties of the hydrogel into an anti-adhesive inversion gel (InGel) and b) to develop precisely adapted minimally invasive application instruments.

Project partners:
  • Aesculap AG, Tuttlingen, Germany
  • Cellendes GmbH, Reutlingen GmbH
  • Tetec AG, Reutlingen, Germany
  • Universitätsklinikum, Frauenklinik, Tübingen