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Development of a new generation of NO-releasing small-diameter vascular grafts

3d-printing technology is an appropriate approach to produce the individual patient’s defect anatomy and complex geometries of the vasculature. Although the endothelialization of vascular grafts before surgery can prevent the failure of implantation, cell culture is a time consuming and expensive method with restricted “off-the-shelf” availability.

Therefore, the aim of this project is to develop a new nitric oxide (NO) releasing system to benefit the anti-microbial and anti-thrombogenic properties of NO which can also facilitate tissue healing and integration. We aim to use carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as NO donor carrier which expected to optimize and prolong the release rate of NO and improve the mechanical properties of vascular grafts. The long-term release of NO up to 6-8 weeks can lead to formation of an endothelial monolayer which consequently releases NO and prevents failure after implantation.

In this project, biodegradable SDVGs will be fabricated using a 3d-printing technology and NO donor loaded CNTs will be added to the constructs. It is expected that the final products show a high patency rate and are capable for commercialization and long-term storage.

  • The project is also open for recently graduated undergraduate students.
  • The project is available per Fall 2021.
  • Number of placements available: 1 per semester.

Faculty Department

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Cardiovascular Developmental Biology.

The research project is situated in the Department of Cardiovascular Development in cooperation with the Center of Molecular and Vascular Biology (CMVB, KU Leuven) and Medical Materials and Implants (Technical University of Munich).  

Research on the fabrication of vascular grafts, development of nitric oxide (NO) delivery system and its biological properties is a major subject of interest. Recent work focused on the coating and impregnation methods for development of NO delivery system and 3D printing for fabrication of vascular grafts. The planned research continues on development of vascular grafts fabrication method and NO delivery system to prolong the release period and subsequently improve the biological responses. The project will be supervised by an experienced Post-Doc. The laboratory has all facilities for drug delivery study as well as biological studies such as cell and bacterial cultures.