Exciting bit of local news. For this story, we turn it over to Bob Jones at News 5 Cleveland to tell us about some pioneering research from the Polymer Science group at the University of Akron. Take it away, Bob:
Scientists, led by Polymer Science Professor Dr. Matt Becker, have developed a polymer film that could be implanted after knee, hip, shoulder and hernia surgeries.
A non-opiate pain reliever on the film would dissolve over a few days into the body and the polymer would degrade in the body over a few weeks.
“If you take half of all laparoscopic procedures and avoid opioid use, you’re talking about hundreds of thousands of patients per year,” Becker said.
Becker believes the polymer product will attack the opioid crisis, because the need for pain pills after procedures would be reduced, as would the number of people who could get hooked.
The opioid crisis is not only a public health emergency, but also the deadliest drug crisis in America’s history. We need innovation from all areas to combat this, and seeing such a simple, practical approach from a local institution is heartening.