Progress has been made in the suppression of acute thrombosis by small-caliber artificial blood vessels

Vascular transplantation is an effective way to solve serious cardiovascular diseases, but autologous blood vessels are scarce, so replacing autologous blood vessels with artificial blood vessels is a research hotspot. Large and medium-caliber artificial blood vessels are not easily blocked by the formed thrombus, while small artificial blood vessels (diameter < 6 mm) are prone to acute thrombosis leading to graft failure. 

The interdisciplinary research team of the Functional Polymer Materials Research Center and the Liquid Metal and Low Temperature Biomedical Research Center of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has developed small-caliber artificial blood vessels with dual effects of anticoagulation and antiplatelets. The study innovatively combined heparin, which has anticoagulant effects, with the antiplatelet drug aspirin, and grafted the complex onto a tube-like holder of electrospun PCL/PU (Figure 1).Figure 1. (a) Schematic diagram of the synthesis of heparin-aspirin complex; (b-c) PCL/PU vascular stent preparation and HepA grafting process.

The antithrombotic small blood vessels developed were tested in the Structural Cardiac Surgery Center of Anzhen Hospital for rabbit carotid artery implantation. Studies have shown that this small blood vessel can effectively prevent acute blood clots that occur after implantation and remain completely unobstructed for one month. Postoperative pathological results showed that there was no accumulation of red blood cells and thrombosis at the anastomotic part of the graft, no stenosis and blockage in the vascular lumen, and gradual regeneration of the endometrial layer (Fig. 2). This study prepared small-caliber artificial blood vessels with dual anticoagulant effects, and comprehensively prevented the occurrence of acute thrombosis from the perspectives of anticoagulation and antiplatelet, which provided a new scheme for the design of functionalized artificial blood vessels.

Figure 2. (a) CDFI images of each vessel stent after implantation; (b) SEM image at the stent anastomosis; (c) H&E stained image of the cross-section of the scaffold.

Recently, the relevant research results were published online in the International Journal of Biological, titled Small-diameter PCL/PU vascular graft modified with heparin-aspirin compound for preventing the occurrence of acute thrombosis Macromolecules. The study was completed in collaboration between the Institute of Physical and Chemical Studies and Anzhen Hospital. (Source: Institute of Physical and Chemical Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences) 

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