Aortic dissection (AD) occurs when a tear causes a separation of the layers within the aortic wall. Blood can then flow between the separated layers, increasing the damage. Current strategies aim at fixing the tear through synthetic grafts, which do not actively activate blood clotting and reabsorption in the false lumen nor vascular regeneration.
- To develop a new graft for aortic tears made of biocompatible, biodegradable, porous and flexible materials that promotes faster tissue regeneration, improving the patient’s life span and quality.
Problem to Solve
AD has an incidence of one out of 10,000 people per year, and is the most frequent and serious manifestation of acute aortic syndrome.
Treatments based on stented grafts reduce mortality, but not all patients are eligible for the treatment. Moreover, the material these grafts are made of is far from ideal: it is inert, non-degradable and does not come close to reproducing the mechanical properties of healthy arteries. This prevents the vessel from properly recovering its normal functions, making further interventions in the long-term basically unavoidable.
The Aortyx team has already manufactured polycaprolactone-based patch prototypes that have been tested in vitro. These grafts are biodegradable, bioadhesive and have mechanical properties similar to those of healthy vessels, encouraging the wound to heal and endothelial regeneration.
Level of Innovation
This innovative graft could be used on any dissected aorta of any type (acute or chronic). It could be a big step forward in AD treatment: cheaper, easy to implement, and with reduced hospitalisation and recovery times, which could lead to an increase of the quality of life of patients.