Currently available vascular grafts are made of either one or two layers of materials. Since each material has its strengths and weaknesses, being able to utilize more layers can help optimize the functionality of such grafts. Researchers at the Shanghai University’s Rapid Manufacturing Engineering Center in China have created new artificial blood vessels that have three distinct layers that work together keeping the graft strong while promoting cellular growth on its surface.
The vessels are made by electrospinning chitosan (derived from shrimp) and polyvinyl alcohol into fibers that are used to create the final product. Once the graft is implanted, it promotes cellular growth while slowly breaking down as live cells populate it. Because the material is not strong enough to withstand the body’s natural forces, the artificial graft has an intermediate layer of poly-p-dioxanone, a biodegradable polymer, providing the needed structural integrity.
To test the new grafts, the researchers applied rat fibroblast cells onto the surface and discovered that the artificial vessels promoted cell growth, pointing toward the next step of testing them in animal models.
Study in AIP Advances: Composite vascular repair grafts via micro-imprinting and electrospinning…