Wednesday, 24 August 2011 21:09

Fraunhofer Institutes develop Biocompatible artificial Blood Vessels Featured

Until now, it was difficult to artificially create small and complex blood vessels which have to supply nutrients to tissues or tissue-engineered organs. Now, with the Rapid Prototyping method these delicate and complex 3-dimensional models can be produced.

A research association with scientists from the five German Fraunhofer Institutes, IGB Stuttgart, IAP Potsdam, ILT Aachen, IPA Stuttgart and IWM Freiburg, succeeded in expanding the use of the technique of Rapid Prototyping to elastic biomaterials. In order to achieve this they combined the 3-D printer technique using 'ink'  made from hybrid materials with multiphoton polymerisation. In order to grow a particular subject´s endothel cells on the surfaces of the artificially produced frame of the blood vessels, the scientists use anchor proteins on the inside of the tubes as well as heparine (a substance to inhibit blood coagulation) with the aim that no blood components stick to the inside of the tube´s wall. At present, a first prototype is in development. Despite the fact that an organ transplant using artificially produced blood vessels is still in the distant future, there is the potential to test substances on these models instead of using test animals.

More information:

Dr. rer. nat. Günter Tovar
Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik
Nobelstr. 12
70569 Stuttgart
Telefon +49 711 970-4109
Fax +49 711 970-4300