Yiannis Monovoukas, PhD, MBA, is chairman, president, and CEO of TEI Biosciences Inc, a privately held regenerative medicine company in Boston. TEI Biosciences develops and commercializes biologic products for soft tissue repair, reinforcement, and regeneration applications—from dura, tendon, and hernia repair, to plastic and reconstructive surgery and wound management.

Monovoukas holds a bachelor’s of science degree from Columbia University and an MS and PhD degree from Stanford University. He also has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

What is SurgiMend™, and how is it used in plastic and reconstructive surgery?

Yiannis Monovoukas

SurgiMend is a biologic mesh that can be handled and sutured like natural tissue. The product’s biochemistry and microporosity facilitate rapid cell penetration and revascularization.

SurgiMend heals soft tissue defects by providing the requisite structural support, as well as the scaffold that can be naturally and progressively integrated, remodeled, and ultimately replaced by functional host connective tissue. It performs in a manner similar to allografts, without the comorbidities that are associated with harvesting the patient’s own tissue from a donor site.

From what is SurgiMend derived?

Composed of fetal bovine dermal collagen, SurgiMend consists of interwoven collagen fibers with porosity, which allow cell and blood vessel penetration.

What type of plastic and reconstructive procedures is SurgiMend used in?

SurgiMend may be implanted to reinforce weak or damaged soft tissues in numerous types of plastic and reconstructive procedures, including breast reconstruction and augmentation; abdominal wall reconstruction and hernia repair; tendon augmentation and orthopedic oncology; oral-maxillofacial or ear, nose, and throat procedures; and aesthetic surgery applications.

Is SurgiMend available in different sizes?

Yes, SurgiMend is currently offered in 14 different sizes and two thicknesses.

How does SurgiMend compare with other biologic materials that are currently used in plastic and reconstructive surgery?

Unlike other products where the source collagen may be exposed to artificial chemical crosslinking agents that alter normal molecular structure, SurgiMend is readily available and more predictable and controlled than other source materials, such as human cadaveric dermis.

The sterilized product is packaged dry and can be trimmed (wet or dry) and sutured by the plastic surgeon to meet the patient’s needs. SurgiMend hydrates in room-temperature saline in approximately 60 seconds. Once fully hydrated, the material is pliable and ready for the surgical site. It does not require refrigeration and has a shelf life of 3 years.