Atherosclerosis is a vascular disease that affects medium and small diameter blood vessels. It is the main cause of coronary occlusions, aortic aneurysms and gangrene. Although synthetic grafts like Dacron and Teflon grafts are effective in large diameter vascular reconstructions, these materials can not be used as small diameter blood vessels substitutes. Autologous veins and arteries are currently used as main substitutes for these replacements, but often the lack of grafts of suitable size and their limited supply are a major problem. In recent years, more and more research is focused on tissue engineering to construct functional small diameter vascular grafts. Tissue engineering is an interdisciplinary field that applies the principles of engineering and life sciences towards the reconstruction or development of biological substitutes that restore, maintain or improve tissue function. The aim of the research presented in this thesis is to develop tissue engineered small diameter blood vessels using poly(trimethylene carbonate) scaffolds. These materials can withstand pulsating physiological pressures and allow the culturing of smooth muscle cells under dynamic conditions. This should allow the constructs to be successfully implanted.
|Award date||6 Nov 2009|
|Place of Publication||Enschede|
|Publication status||Published - 6 Nov 2009|