Research on new materials and coatings in EUREKA project E! 2866 VASCUCHARGE will extend the life of synthetic vascular grafts from months to years, saving on average €7,000 per operation. As such grafts are used in around 500 out of each million vascular treatments in Europe, the savings could be considerable. Furthermore, the pain and discomfort suffered by patients is significantly reduced, as is the drain on health service resources.
The number of implants used in the surgical treatment of vascular disease has been steadily increasing over the last 20 years, so it is now considered a common procedure. Such tubes replace or bypass part of a blood vessel – principally arteries – and operate in a similar fashion to natural blood vessels.
However, while advances have been made in vascular disease surgery, synthetic implants are still susceptible to thrombosis or clotting, occlusions and infection caused by protein and cell adsorption and coagulation activation. Serious post-surgical problems occur in some 10% of surgical patients, which includes approximately a 2% rate of vascular graft infections. As a result, some grafts have to be replaced after only a few months.
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On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.
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The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
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