Biodegradable graft for small diameter applications.

The third invention is a biodegradable vascular graft, an invention from the Technical University of Vienna in cooperation with the Medical University of Vienna. Atherosclerosis is one of the leading causes of death world-wide. The disease affects small diameter blood vessels in various regions of the body such as coronary, peripheral and brain arteries. A number of patients with atherosclerosis must undergo surgical bypass procedures to restore the impaired blood flow in the ischemic region. Currently, using a patient’s own blood vessel to replace the diseased segments gives the best result. Unfortunately, autologous blood vessels are not always available due to concomitant disease or reoperation. Clinically available synthetic substitutes have inadequate long-term performance due to low patency rates and increased susceptibility of graft infection often requiring re-interventions. Thermoplastic polyurethane elastomers (TPU) show great potential as small diameter vascular replacements because of their biocompatibility and degradation properties. Researchers from the TUWien and Medical University have developed TPU polymer vascular grafts that can be used for small diameter vascular applications where current materials perform inferior. In vitro studies and small rodent studies with these grafts have shown excellent patency after 1 year in the host.


The core team of the Biodegradable Graft from TU Vienna (TUW) and the Medical University Vienna (MUW). Left to right: Prof. Schima (MUW), Prof. Liska (TUW), Dr. Grazel (MUW), Prof. Bruno Podesser (MUW), Prof. Helga Bergmeister (MUW), Marcel Wassink (NLC), Dr. Helga Kroschewski (MUW), Jürgen Bernhard (NLC).