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Dr Robert Hume, 2023 Vanguard Grant

A biodegradable blood vessel replacement to regrow damaged arteries

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A biodegradable blood vessel replacement to regrow damaged arteries

Dr Robert Hume, University of Sydney

2023 Vanguard Grant - Two Year

Years funded: 2024 - 2025

The heart pumps blood to the body’s organs via its arteries. Multiple diseases can cause irreversible damage to these blood vessels and can be life threating. A common treatment is to replace damaged arteries with a synthetic substitute. Unfortunately, these are made from materials that are too rigid. These stiff replacements can cause abnormal blood flow, leading to a range of health issues. To address these failings, we have developed a more flexible replacement made from materials with a similar stiffness to healthy arteries. This replacement is also biodegradable: encouraging new healthy tissue to regrow as it degrades. Although promising, our previous tests of our flexible biodegradable replacement were in mice, which are approximately 3000 times smaller than humans. For clinical translation, we must next test in animals with a similar cardiovascular anatomy to humans. We therefore aim to scale up and test our biodegradable replacement in sheep. If successful, our replacement could treat a wide range of artery diseases and significantly improve millions of cardiovascular patients’ quality of life.

Last updated12 March 2024