Deakin University

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A new design concept for knitted external vein-graft support mesh

journal contribution
posted on 2015-08-01, 00:00 authored by Charanpreet Singh, Xungai Wang
Autologous vein-graft failure significantly limits the long-term efficacy of coronary artery bypass procedures. The major cause behind this complication is biomechanical mismatch between the vein and coronary artery. The implanted vein experiences a sudden increase (10-12 fold) in luminal pressures. The resulting vein over-distension or 'ballooning' initiates wall thickening phenomenon and ultimate occlusion. Therefore, a primary goal in improving the longevity of a coronary bypass procedure is to inhibit vein over-distension using mechanical constriction. The idea of using an external vein-graft support mesh has demonstrated sustained benefits and wide acceptance in experimental studies. Nitinol based knitted structures have offered more promising mechanical features than other mesh designs owing to their unique loosely looped construction. However, the conventional plain knit construction still exhibits limitations (radial compliance, deployment ease, flexibility, and bending stresses) which limit this design from proving its real clinical advantage. The new knitted mesh design presented in this study is based on the concept of composite knitting utilising high modulus (nitinol and polyester) and low modulus (polyurethane) material components. The experimental comparison of the new design with a plain knit design demonstrated significant improvement in biomechanical (compliance, flexibility, extensibility, viscoelasticity) and procedural (deployment limit) parameters. The results are indicative of the promising role of new mesh in restoring the lost compliance and pulsatility of vein-graft at high arterial pressures. This way it can assist in controlled vein-graft remodelling and stepwise restoration of vein mechanical homoeostasis. Also, improvement in deployment limit parameter offers more flexibility for a surgeon to use a wide range of vein diameters, which may otherwise be rendered unusable for a plain knit mesh.



Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials




125 - 133




Amsterdam, The Netherlands





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, Elsevier