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How does the Oxtex device work?

The science behind Oxtex presents a significant improvement over existing autonomous controlled hydrogel expanders. The device typically displays a triphasic swelling profile in vivo (see graph below).

Phase I represents the biodegradable ‘time switch’ which delays the onset of swelling following implantation for a period of typically two weeks (as dictated by the surgeon). 

In Phase II the rate of osmotic expansion is carefully controlled either by an integral polymer scaffold or an external semipermeable membrane thus preventing the undesirable effects of excessive expansion which include pain and potential tissue necrosis. 

In Phase III the final degree of swelling achieved can be precisely controlled (up to 1500% if necessary) and is determined by the hydrogel formulation used. The device is entirely inert and will remain quiescent during Phase III until surgically removed in order to perform the definitive reconstruction.

For a selection of relevant research publications, please click here.

Swelling profile of Oxtex tissue expanderUnexpanded & expanded Oxtex device (prototype)

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What is tissue expansion?

A short explanation is available here.