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30/07/12

Artificial blood vessels are on the way!

Research by German scientists has enabled them to create a sort of small plastic straw that can be used as an artificial blood vessel. The three-year project, dubbed "Biorap" and involving five departments at the Fraunhofer-Institute, has delivered results. The vessels’ basic structures were created through 3-D printing technology by building up layers to create a three-dimensional structure. The artificial blood vessels share the same mechanical properties as natural blood vessels in terms of elasticity and biocompatibility. The scientists are nowlooking at how to line the surface in contact with blood with endothelial cells to avoid the problem of the immune system rejecting the graft. The first artificial blood vessel graft is still some years away, though.

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