Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New materials and coatings extend life of vascular implants

10.08.2005


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.



Project partners from Austria and Slovenia concentrated their efforts on small grafts where the problem is particularly acute – those with a diameter less than 6 mm. Improved grafts will diminish the likelihood of complications, so the need for repeat vascular surgical treatments will be greatly reduced.

“Little was known about the mechanisms that cause this undesired protein absorption before our work began,” explains Professor Dr Volker Ribitsch from the Institute of Chemical Process Development and Control at Austrian project partner Joanneum Research.

“We knew that there was a correlation between surface charge, surface energy and the accumulation of bioactive substances. By working closely with our Slovenian partners, we investigated these parameters and other factors, including the structure of the polymer used in the graft and a variety of coatings – such as heparin and collagen – to determine the conditions that can reduce this damaging protein absorption.”

New test device

While studying the grafts, the partners also developed a test device to make the necessary experimental investigations possible. “The new instrument monitors surface properties and protein adsorption on medical devices and provides continuous data,” says Professor Ribitsch. “It will be on the market and available to potential manufacturers in the next year or two.”

The new grafts and coatings require more research but are already promising to reduce replacement operations by up to 50%. When this essential work is complete, the partners will seek industrial collaboration with a medical equipment manufacturer to market the results.

“EUREKA was the ideal framework for the project as the expertise lay beyond the medical devices industry,” adds Ribitsch. “Its bottom-up approach is ideal for such research.” The budget for the project was €0.6 million.

Paul McCallum | alfa
Further information:
http://www.eureka.be/files/:722836
http://www.eureka.be

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>