Preparation of a new formulation to prevent surgical adhesions

Inter-tissue adhesions cause significant complications following veterinary surgery of domesticated animals. Fucoidans are natural, negatively charged, carbohydrate polymers (polysaccharides) from seaweeds that have been successfully developed and commercialized for reducing such adhesions, thereby improving surgical outcomes. Currently, the inherent variability in the molecular size and composition of native fucoidans extracted from seaweed presents a significant barrier for their break-through application in human surgery. Hence, the objective of this project is to develop a scalable, efficient route to synthesize novel anionic polysaccharide derivatives that both mimic the function of extracted fucoidans as a medical device, and meet the stringent requirements on purity and structural homogeneity necessary for use in humans. Successful completion of this project will result in a process method for the production of a novel medical device that will supersede current fucoidan preparations for the reduction of post-surgical adhesions. Subsequent development by the industrial partner of this device into a product will reduce pain, suffering, and mortality in Canadian patients following routine surgical procedures. The resulting reductions in hospital stay durations, re-admissions, and re-operations will reduce healthcare costs to all Canadians.

Faculty Supervisor:

Harry Brumer


Laleh Solhi


ARC Medical Devices Inc


Biochemistry / Molecular biology


Medical devices


University of British Columbia



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