Nanotech used to create pulsing artificial arteries

Human trials set to begin this year on blood vessels that flex, pulse like real arteries

A team of British researchers are set to begin a trial program by planting nanotechnology-based artificial arteries into humans.

Scientists at London's Royal Free Hospital received a grant of more than $800,000 to move the artificial artery project from the laboratory to human trials within the next year, according to the hospital. The artificial arteries are made of a polymer material that's combined with nanomaterials . The hospital said the materials can closely mimic natural vessels by pulsing along with the beating of the patient's heart.

The grant was issued by the Wellcome Trust , which is the largest charity in the U.K.

"The new micro-graft pulses rhythmically to match the beat of the heart," said George Hamilton, a team leader and professor of vascular surgery at the Royal Free Hospital. "As well as this, the new graft material is strong, flexible, resistant to blood clotting and doesn't break down, which is a major breakthrough."

The arteries are designed to replace ruptured or diseased vessals in human hearts and legs.

Nanotechnology has been a major part of medical research in recent years.

Last October, for example, Stanford University researchers reported that they had used nanotechnology and magnetics to create a biosensor designed to detect cancer in its early stages, making a cure more likely.

A month earlier, researchers at the University of Toronto used nanomaterials to develop a microchip they say is also sensitive enough to detect early stage cancer. The chip is designed to detect the type of cancer and its severity.

And last August, scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine announced that a team of researchers are creating " nanobees " to fight cancerous tumors. The process uses nanoparticles to deliver the primary component of bee venom, called melittin, through the body to kill cancerous tumor cells.

In the latest effort, the British team is trying to overcome problems associated with plastic grafts traditionally used to replace vessels. The problem with plastic grafts, particularly in smaller sizes, is that they cannot pulse and they tend to cause blood clots.

The scientists believe that mixing nanomaterials with a polymer creates more flexible artificial arteries, according to Hamilton.

"This will be hugely beneficial to patients in the [hospital] as we will be able to reduce heart attacks, reduce amputations and ultimately save lives," he added.

Sharon Gaudin covers Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies and desktop/laptop chips for Computerworld . Follow Sharon on Twitter @sgaudin or send e-mail at sgaudin@computerworld.com.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags nanotechnology

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?