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Chemists seek light-activated glue for vascular repair


Surgeons battle time and the body’s defenses as they stitch together veins and arteries, whether after an injury or in the course of such treatments as transplants or bypasses. Loss of blood before a site is closed and too much clotting soon after challenge medical care.

Virginia Tech researchers are creating biocompatible adhesives for use with vascular tissue that will speed the process of mending tissue. They will present the research at the 227th annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Anaheim, Calif., March 28 through April 1, 2004.

The goal is to make it possible for surgeons to splice, reattach, or mend vascular tissue by applying a biopolymer coating and activating it with light, such as a laser, explains Timothy Long of Blacksburg, professor of chemistry in the College of Science at Virginia Tech. Another use would be as a stable, easy-to-use material that medics could apply to stop bleeding and prevent clotting.

Chemistry doctoral student Afia S. Karikari will explain the structure and characteristics of the novel polymer, how light causes it to change shape and function, and what the researchers have determined about the properties of several compounds that are candidates for a material that could make laser assisted vascular repair possible.

Karikari, a Packard Fellow, is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University. A native of Ghana, West Africa, she moved to the United States with her family and attended Pebblebrook High School in Mableton, Ga.

She will present the paper, "Photocrosslinking of star-shaped poly(d,l-lactide)s containing an ethoxylate core (Poly 368)" at 8:50 a.m. Tuesday, March 30, 2004, in the Garden B room of the Anaheim Coast Hotel. Co-authors are Craig Thatcher, professor and department head of large animal clinical sciences in the Virginia–Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, and Long.

Contact for more information: Dr. Timothy E. Long at or 540-231-2480
Learn more about Ms Karikari at

Susan Trulove | EurekAlert!
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