NovoThelium was founded in 2015 by biomedical engineers with family histories of breast cancer to work on nipple regeneration after mastectomy.
One in eight women will have breast cancer in her lifetime. In the United States alone, there are approximately 2.8 million breast cancer survivors with 180,535 breast reconstruction procedures performed in 2016 by Board Certified Plastic Surgeons.
Modern nipple areolar reconstruction procedures typically involve creating and using local skin flaps from skin on the reconstructed breast to recreate the appearance of a nipple. After healing, the reconstructed nipple can be tattooed for desired pigmentation. Unfortunately, this method creates a nipple with little to no sensation that loses projection due to retraction forces of the underlying tissue and contraction of scar tissue.
NovoThelium is developing a bioengineered matrix that enables patients to regenerate a nipple made from their own cells that maintains projection, has natural pigmentation, and improved sensation.