Blocked blood vessels can quickly become dangerous.
It is often necessary to replace a blood vessel—either by another vessel taken from the body or even by artificial vascular prostheses. Together, Vienna University of Technology and Vienna Medical University have developed artificial blood vessels made from a special elastomer material, which has excellent mechanical properties. Over time, these artificial blood vessels are replaced by endogenous material. At the end of this restorative process, a natural, fully functional vessel is once again in place. The method has already been used successfully in rats.
Arteriosclerotic vascular disorders are one of the most common causes of death in industrialized countries. In this situation a bypass operation is often the only solution. Normally, blood vessels are taken from another part of the patient’s body and used to replace the damaged vessel. Thanks to a joint project undertaken by TU Wien and the Medical University of Vienna, artificially manufactured vessels should be used more frequently in future.
The most important thing is to find a suitable material. The artificial materials that have been used so far are not ideally compatible with body tissue. The blood vessel can easily become blocked, especially if it is only small in diameter.
TUW has therefore developed new polymers. “These are so-called thermoplastic polyurethanes,” explains Robert Liska from the Institute of Applied Synthetic Chemistry of Vienna University of Technology. “By selecting very specific molecular building blocks we have succeeded in synthesizing a polymer with the desired properties.”
The Latest on: Artificial blood vessels
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The Latest on: Artificial blood vessels
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