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Smithfield Foods’ business unit Smithfield BioScience and BioCircuit Technologies have announced plans to produce a new Nerve Tape medical device for nerve repair following traumatic injuries.

The implantable Nerve Tape device is made of decellularised porcine small intestinal submucosa (SIS) embedded with microscale hooks for tissue attachment.

The tape, which will enable nerve repair without sutures, will be prepared from SIS tissue harvested from the US operations of Smithfield.

It can easily be wrapped around two ends of a severed nerve to form a connection that will promote regeneration.

With the new technology, surgeons will be able to operate quickly and achieve re-joining of injured nerves.

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This simplifies the surgical process and improves patient outcomes.

BioCircuit Technologies CEO Michelle Jarrard said: “BioCircuit is committed to developing medical technologies, such as Nerve Tape, to repair, monitor and control peripheral nerves precisely and reliably.

“We’re excited to tap into Smithfield’s exceptional level of traceability and product safety in our work to empower surgeons with powerful, practical clinical tools that improve the treatment of injuries.”

Simultaneously, the company is developing non-invasive, bioelectronic devices that can access nerve and muscle activity to provide sensitive monitoring and selective, closed-loop stimulation.

The bioelectronics technology can be used in neuromodulation, bioelectronic medicine, neuro-prosthetics and neuromuscular rehabilitation.

Using the technology, clinicians can diagnose health conditions earlier, provide treatment and track outcomes over time.

Smithfield BioScience president Courtney Stanton said: “By harvesting porcine bioproducts for medical applications – such as organs, mucosa and tissues – we have the ability to improve lives through the development of innovative pharmaceuticals and medical devices like this one.”