Hybrid yarn from collagen, synthetic fibres form artery substitute

October 2, 2020

Scientists have successfully knitted new artery grafts out of collagen and polylactic acid-based fibres to replace damaged coronary arteries. The scientists, from North Carolina State University (NCSU), US, looked into “tissue-engineered vascular grafts” as an alternative method for heart attack patients, who usually have to do with replacement veins from elsewhere in their bodies.

Using high-speed textile production machinery, the scientists fashioned grafts from hybrid synthetic and biological (collagen) fibres in record time. The finished product works like a real artery – it is able to expand and contract with pressure and significantly increases cell adhesion and cell population, compared to a version made only of the synthetic fibres.

But it’s not made to be a permanent solution for patients.

NCSU’s Martin King explained that their prototype is meant to form a “scaffold” to help the patient’s own cells build a new artery. The fibres of this scaffold would eventually degrade and be absorbed into the body.

The scientists are currently working on the porosity of the hybrid material and will need to tackle various other properties before it can be ready for animal and clinical trials.

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Category: Education, Features

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