BACKGROUND: Porcine and bovine acellular dermal matrices (PADM and BADM, respectively) are the most commonly used biologic meshes for ventral hernia repair. A previous study suggests a higher rate of intraoperative device failures using PADM than BADM. We hypothesize that this difference is, in part, related to intrinsic mechanical properties of the matrix substrate and source material. The following study directly compares these 2 matrices to identify any potential differences in mechanical properties that may relate to clinical outcomes. METHODS: Sections of PADM (Strattice; Lifecell, Branchburg, N.J.) and BADM (SurgiMend; TEI Biosciences, Boston, Mass.) were subjected to a series of biomechanical tests, including suture retention, tear strength, and uniaxial tensile strength. Results were collected and compared statistically. RESULTS: In all parameters, BADM exhibited a superior mechanical strength profile compared with PADM of similar thickness. Increased BADM thickness correlated with increased mechanical strength. In suture tear-through testing with steel wire, failure of the steel wire occurred in the 4-mm-thick BADM, whereas the matrix material failed in all other thicknesses of BADM and PADM. CONCLUSIONS: Before implantation, BADM is inherently stronger than PADM at equivalent thicknesses and considerably stronger at increased thicknesses. These results corroborate clinical data from a previous study in which PADM was associated with a higher intraoperative device failure rate. Although numerous properties of acellular dermal matrix contribute to clinical outcomes, surgeons should consider initial mechanical strength properties when choosing acellular dermal matrices for load-bearing applications such as hernia repair.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License, where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0. American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
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