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Biomed Mater. 2011 Oct;6(5):055003. doi: 10.1088/1748-6041/6/5/055003. Epub 2011 Aug 18.

Elastomeric degradable biomaterials by photopolymerization-based CAD-CAM for vascular tissue engineering.

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Institute of Applied Synthetic Chemistry, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria.


A predominant portion of mortalities in industrial countries can be attributed to diseases of the cardiovascular system. In the last decades great efforts have been undertaken to develop materials for artificial vascular constructs. However, bio-inert materials like ePTFE or PET fail as material for narrow blood vessel replacements (coronary bypasses). Therefore, we aim to design new biocompatible materials to overcome this. In this paper we investigate the use of photoelastomers for artificial vascular constructs since they may be precisely structured by means of additive manufacturing technologies. Hence, 3D computer aided design and manufacturing technologies (CAD-CAM) offer the possibility of creating cellular structures within the grafts that might favour ingrowth of tissue. Different monomer formulations were screened concerning their suitability for this application but all had drawbacks, especially concerning the suture tear resistance. Therefore, we chose to modify the original network architecture by including dithiol chain transfer agents which effectively co-react with the acrylates and reduce crosslink density. A commercial urethane diacrylate was chosen as base monomer. In combination with reactive diluents and dithiols, the properties of the photopolymers could be tailored and degradability could be introduced. The optimized photoelastomers were in good mechanical accordance with native blood vessels, showed good biocompatibility in in vitro tests, degraded similar to poly(lactic acid) and were successfully manufactured with the 3D CAD-CAM technology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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