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Hydrogel Small-Diameter Vascular Graft Reinforced with a Braided Fiber Strut with Improved Mechanical Properties

Engineering Research Center of Technical Textiles, Ministry of Education; Key laboratory of Textile Science and Technology, Ministry of Education; College of Textiles, Donghua University, Songjiang District, Shanghai 201620, China
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ 07030, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 810;
Received: 18 April 2019 / Revised: 29 April 2019 / Accepted: 2 May 2019 / Published: 6 May 2019
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Acute thrombosis remains the main limitation of small-diameter vascular grafts (inner diameter <6 mm) for bridging and bypassing of small arteries defects and occlusion. The use of hydrogel tubes represents a promising strategy. However, their low mechanical strength and high swelling tendency may limit their further application. In the present study, a hydrogel vascular graft of Ca alginate/polyacrylamide reinforced with a braided fiber strut was designed and fabricated with the assistance of a customized casting mold. Morphology, structure, swellability, mechanical properties, cyto- and hemocompatibility of the reinforced graft were characterized. The results showed that the reinforced graft was transparent and robust, with a smooth surface. Scanning electron microscopic examination confirmed a uniform porous structure throughout the hydrogel. The swelling of the reinforced grafts could be controlled to 100%, obtaining clinically satisfactory mechanical properties. In particular, the dynamic circumferential compliance reached (1.7 ± 0.1)%/100 mmHg for 50–90 mmHg, a value significantly higher than that of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) vascular grafts. Biological tests revealed that the reinforced graft was non-cytotoxic and had a low hemolysis percentage (HP) corresponding to (0.9 ± 0.2)%. In summary, the braided fiber-reinforced hydrogel vascular grafts demonstrated both physical and biological superiority, suggesting their suitability for vascular grafts. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrogel; vascular graft; braided fiber strut; swellability; mechanical property hydrogel; vascular graft; braided fiber strut; swellability; mechanical property

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Guan, G.; Yu, C.; Xing, M.; Wu, Y.; Hu, X.; Wang, H.; Wang, L. Hydrogel Small-Diameter Vascular Graft Reinforced with a Braided Fiber Strut with Improved Mechanical Properties. Polymers 2019, 11, 810.

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