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 Researchers at Shanghai University create tri-layered artificial blood vessels for the first time

This story is from the category Augmenting Organics
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Date posted: 05/02/2015

By combining micro-imprinting and electro-spinning techniques, researchers at Shanghai Universityís Rapid Manufacturing Engineering Center have developed a vascular graft composed of three layers for the first time. This tri-layered composite has allowed researchers to utilize separate materials that respectively possess mechanical strength and promote new cell growth - a significant problem for existing vascular grafts that have only consisted of a single or double layer.

Vascular grafts are surgically attached to an obstructed or otherwise unhealthy blood vessel to permanently redirect blood flow, such as in coronary bypass surgery. Traditional grafts work by repurposing existing vessels from the patientís own body or from a suitable donor. However, these sources are often insufficient for a patientís needs because of the limited supply in a patientís body, and may be afflicted by the same underlying conditions that necessitate the graft in the first place. Accordingly, there has been a great deal of research towards developing synthetic vessels that can mimic natural ones, allowing new cells to grow around them and then degrade away, thereby creating new vessels.

"The composite vascular grafts could be better candidates for blood vessel repair," said Yuanyuan Liu, an associate professor at the Rapid Manufacturing Engineering Center. Liuís team had previously worked with bone scaffolds, which are used to repair bone defects, before turning their attention to cardiovascular disease, and thus vascular grafts. They describe their current research in the journal AIP Advances, from AIP Publishing.

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