Duke start-up, Deep Blue Medical Devices, has been approved to start selling their hernia mech technology after receiving FDA approval in August.  This novel product, developed by Duke plastic surgeon Howard Levinston, has enhanced anchoring strength that will resist wounds from gaping and bursting open.

Deep Blue developed the mesh to address the unacceptably high rate of hernia occurrence and recurrence. Millions of hernia surgeries are done globally with billions of dollars in clinical cost.  Their T-Line® Hernia Mesh with integral suture-like extensions is designed to eliminate a key point of failure for conventional mesh fixation – the mesh, suture, tissue interface – and to provide superior anchor strength.

Dr. Howie Levinson shows off his hernia mesh design to President Price. Deep Blue is addressing the unacceptably high rate of hernia occurrence and recurrence. Photo by Jared Lazarus/Duke Photography

Deep Blue has raised more than $800,000 in funding, with $295,000 raised August 2018.

In separate efforts, Levinson is working on additional projects including an anti-biofouling Foley catheter, a non-invasive light imaging technology to diagnose skin disorders, and tissue-engineered skin that resists contraction.

“Sewing a bit of each extension into the abdominal wall, in lieu of traditional sutures, significantly increases mesh anchoring strength and thus the durability of the repair,” Levinson says of the T-Line in an interview with WRAL Techwire. “We believe this approach will greatly improve patient outcomes without necessitating significant changes to current surgical practice.”

The firm says it plans to launch the T-Line at “selected sites” in the near future.