Vascular problems are a huge problem in older population and in addition to preventative technologies, we also need to develop methods of treating patients who already have compromised vascular systems.
A Russian team has apparently come up with a solution to this problem through a long-lasting artificial blood vessel coating, resistant to any new clot formation. When this drug containing coating is applied to the inner side of the vessels, it is able to break up any new clots that form and maintain healthy blood flow. The coating is made of a mixture of aluminium oxide nanorods together with a thrombolytic enzyme (urokinase-type plasminogen activator). The coating matrix allows entry of plasminogen – a proenzyme found in blood plasma, and when this molecule combines with the plasminogen activator in the coating, clot-dissolving plasmin is created. The inner vessel surface can then maintain a stable concentration of plasmin, which is capable of dissolving clots that form, keeping the vessels clean.
“In order to test how our improved vascular graft worked, we grew an artificial clot made of blood plasma mixed with thrombin and placed it inside the graft,” noted Chapurina. “The results of the experiment amazed us. Very soon the clot started to dissolve and leak through the graft. In reality, our coating would destroy clots at the stage of formation, constantly ensuring an unobstructed blood flow in the graft.”
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