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Tuesday 25th October 2016

Artificial artery to be trialled on humans

4th January 2010

A £500,000 grant will fund human trials to test an artificial artery, which could help 'thousands' of people who suffer from vascular disease.


The trials are due to go ahead early in 2010. The artery was developed at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

Researchers employed nanotechnology in order to build the artery from polymers. The polymer material allowed the artery to imitate how blood vessels pulse and made it able to send nutrients around the body.

The artificial bypass graft could help patients with damaged arteries who cannot be treated with conventional nylon grafts or their own veins.

Researcher Professor George Hamilton said: "There is a high failure rate using these rigid, small diameter bypass grafts. Many patients who have needed smaller bypass grafts, but have not had suitable veins, have had limbs amputated and some patients unable to have coronary bypass surgery have had heart attacks and died." 

The newly developed artery contains tiny particles which can encourage blood to circulate or help stem cells to coat the graft's lining.

Professor Hamilton said: "This will be hugely beneficial to patients in the NHS as we will be able to reduce heart attacks, reduce amputations and ultimately save lives."

In the future, the researchers are keen to produce "off-the-shelf" artificial arteries and other appliances.


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