Blood vessels made from the yarn should reportedly be tolerated by all patients
When a damaged blood vessel has to be replaced, it’s important that the replacement be well-tolerated by the body. And while bioprinted blood vessels are one possibility, French scientists are now working on weaving the things out of collagen yarn.
Led by researcher Nicolas L’Heureux, a team at the Inserm institute – aka the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research – started by lab-cultivating human cells, which in turn produced extracellular matrix deposits that were high in collagen. The extracellular matrix is the three-dimensional network of macromolecules that surrounds the body’s cells, helping to keep those cells structurally and biochemically supported.
Sheets of the lab-grown matrix deposits were next cut into very thin fiber-like strips, forming the yarn. It can be woven, knitted or braided, and has already been used to create vascular grafts (implantable tubes for redirecting the flow of blood). Those grafts exhibited “burst pressure, suture retention strength and transmural permeability that surpassed clinical requirements.”