Doctors have learned to knit valuable artificial arteries from collagen and synthetic fibers

When treating the consequences of a heart attack, replacement of damaged arteries is very often required, for which the necessary vessel is taken from the patient's own leg. However, doctors record more and more severe cases when there are simply no suitable vessels left in the human body. The solution is a man-made artery that can be tied together from collagen strands and synthetic fibers.

A prototype of such an artificial artery was recently manufactured by a joint team of North Carolina State University and Case Western Reserve University (USA). They took polylactic acid fibers and filamentous collagen to create a hybrid yarn. The material was tucked into a circular knitting machine and it tied a tube that could contract and expand like a real artery.

This tube is only a frame for the graft, and it is temporary - both substances from the threads dissolve perfectly in the body. The patient's own endothelial cells are planted on the frame, which will build the walls of the artery. Thanks to collagen, the adhesion of the structure is multiplied, the cells adhere much better, therefore, 3, 2 more cells are deposited on the hybrid material than on pure synthetics.

Alas, the current version of the knotted artery is too coarse, with many holes that take a long time to tighten and leak blood through them. Probably, you should reduce the thickness of the threads, or change the weaving pattern to a denser one - this task has yet to be solved. However, the scientists are very pleased that they were able to balance the mechanical properties of the graft with the biological response of the body to it. And also the fact that in the future it will be possible to knit kilometers of artificial arteries cheaply and for all patients in the world.