Monday, October 5, 2020

Scientists Knit New Artery Grafts out of Collagen and Synthetic Fibers

A circular knitting machine creates an artery graft out of a hybrid yarn

This bit of medical news was too interesting to pass up ...  I know some of you out there are knitters.  You may have seen those old (or new) sock knitting machines they used in WWI when women were making socks at home for soldiers to prevent trench foot?    

Here's where the streams of crafting, industry, science and medicine cross:  They are basically using a mini sock knitting machine to create a substitute for human tissue.  But first, they had to spin the yarn!    You gotta think the scientists who came up with this brilliant idea are also fiber lovers and knitters, or otherwise spent a significant amount of time with knitters and spinners.  

The collagen and synthetic yarn makes me think of the Korean Japchae noodles made from sweet potatoes that you can buy at farmer's market.  Not the same, I know, but I wonder if they used noodle-making technology to make the yarn?  Crossing even more streams here ...

From the article:

Heart attack patients often need replacements for damaged or blocked sections of coronary arteries, which are usually taken from their own leg veins. But in a new proof-of-concept study, scientists knitted a prototype graft out of hybrid synthetic and biological yarn, forming a scaffold for the patients own cells to grow around and repair the artery.    ... 
But it’s not made to be a permanent implant – instead, it’s a scaffold to help the patient’s own cells build a new artery. Those endothelial cells, which normally line the insides of arteries, stick to the scaffold and begin growing.    Read more ...

Irving, M.   30 September 2020. Scientists Knit New Artery Grafts Out Of Collagen And Synthetic Fibers. [online] New Atlas. Available at: <> [Accessed 5 October 2020].

The research was published in the journal Materials Science and Engineering: C.

Source: NC State University


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