Flexible and biodegradable electronic blood vessels

Flexible and biodegradable electronic blood vessels
A flexible and biodegradable electronic blood vessel. Credit: Xingyu Jiang et al.

Researchers in China and Switzerland have developed electronic blood vessels that can be actively tuned to address subtle changes in the body after implantation. The blood vessels—made of a metal-polymer conductor membrane that’s flexible and biodegradable—mimic natural blood vessels, were conductive in in vitro experiments, and were able to effectively replace key arteries in rabbits. The research, published October 1 in the journal Matter, could overcome the limitations of conventional tissue engineered blood vessels (TEBVs), which serve as passive scaffolds, by coordinating with other electronic devices to deliver genetic material, enable controlled drug release, and facilitate the formation of new endothelial blood vessel tissue.

“We take the natural blood vessel-mimicking structure and go beyond it by integrating more comprehensive electrical functions that are able to provide further treatments, such as gene therapy and electrical stimulation,” says lead

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