Worldwide, one in ten women undergoes surgery as a result of pelvic floor prolapse. However, prolapse may unfortunately recur after surgery, resulting in one in five women requiring another round of surgery. Polyisocyanide (PIC) hydrogel is a material that could potentially be used in future as a supplement during surgery, to stimulate regeneration of the vaginal connective tissue. This PhD thesis therefore aims to investigate pre-clinically whether PIC hydrogel, functionalised with various bioactive factors, is able to improve vaginal wound healing and regeneration of the vaginal connective tissue. The findings described in this PhD thesis will hopefully contribute in future to the development of improved surgical treatment options for patients.
Melissa van Velthoven (1995) obtained her Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Sciences from Utrecht University in 2016. In 2018, she obtained her Master's degree in Regenerative Medicine & Technology from Utrecht University. After her first Master's internship at the Regenerative Medicine Centre Utrecht, she relocated to England for her second Master's internship at the University of Cambridge. In 2019, she started her PhD research under the supervision of Dr Paul Kouwer.