Revolution in Heart Surgery?
Coronary artery bypass surgery could be revolutionized with a newly developed, cell-free way to regenerate arteries, experts say.
A team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, led by investigator Yadong Wang, designed a biodegradable graft that maximizes the body’s capacity to regenerate. The graft will dissolve naturally in the body once its work is done, so that a patient undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery will have a fully regenerated artery in 90 days, the university said in a statement.
The researchers used an elastic polymer material, called PGS, that the body easily absorbs, as well as a molecule, heparin, that reduces blood clotting.
In a statement, Wang said, “The rapid remodeling [performed by] the grafts led to strong and compliant new arteries. The extent of the changes in the grafts that occurred in just 90 days was remarkable.”
The current approach to producing grafts, which requires a cell-production process, is lengthy. But the new grafts take just a few days to produce.
Wang said that as researchers refined their methods, he expected the production time to shorten.
The project was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.