PRRS Focus On: The crux of Innovation

Valerio Cervelli, Benedetto Longo

Anno: 2022


The foundation of biotechnological innovation rests on scientific research, which in turn relies on updated scientific evidence provided by literature. The sum of the scientific evidence constitutes the basis to validate a new thesis.

Moving the slider vertically on a temporal line, one can find scientific experiences from the past, that for some reason have not been developed over the years and thus not part of contemporary scientific background.

In a work published in 2016, J. Brinkman and J. Hage honoured Andreas Vesalius, at 500 years from his birth, outlining his description, three hundred years before sir Astley Paston Cooper, of a breast periglandular suspensory structure, whose posterior aspect was defined as “fleshy membrane”.

Facing a citation of 500 years ago, one might wonder why nowadays such information is unfamiliar to the breast surgeon and not part of his cultural background. Perhaps, because we refer to a “protochirurgia “ era, or because Cooper took up this concept in the XIX century, closer to our days, leaving aside the concept of the posterior ligament. It can be imagined as a wireless phone, where significant components of a primary experience are scattered throughout time.

It is likewise important to retrace the basis of knowledge by moving the slider along a horizontal axis, in a multidisciplinary perspective. In 1982, the orthopaedic surgeon J.O. Galante, described the mechanical principles based on which devices communicate with adjacent tissues through pro-regenerative signals. In 1981 the breast surgeon Gruber described the risk of formation of a retracting capsule around breast devices – e.g. silicon implants – according to their positioning.

Later that year, a congress was held in Venice, organized by Professor L. Ricciardi, orthopaedic surgeon, with the participation of dentists and orthopaedic specialists, destined to discuss the biological interactions characterising different device textures.

This interdisciplinary osmosis showed how dentists knew more than other specialists about devices and textures, having already been studying them for some time. Perhaps because not only the functional aspect, but above all the aesthetic one, represented and still represents the dividing line between success and surgical failure.

In Italy, a private research group (R&D DECO med) moved the slider vertically, by investigating through past experiences and then horizontally, exploring multidisciplinary researches, to launch the idea of “muscle-sparing or prepectoral breast reconstruction”. Braxon embodies the example of innovation that takes shape at the intersection of the “osmotemporal” Cartesian axes, the crux of innovation.