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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C519353/1
Title: Surface biocompatibility of a new ORIGAMI based AAA stent integrated with a ceramic urethane graft
Principal Investigator: Seifalian, Professor AM
Other Investigators:
Hamilton, Professor G
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Royal Free Hampstead site and UCMS
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 December 2004 Ends: 31 May 2006 Value (£): 45,105
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
EP/C519361/1 EP/C51937X/1
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
We propose a tri-partite collaborative research programme that combines the leading expertise of the materials (MG), engineering (EG) and physical (surface) sciences (PG) groups at three universities in UK.The proposal aims to make significant advances in the improvement of the surface biocompatibility of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) stent grafts. Current designs of such stent graft are simply a combination of a traditional expandable stent made of metallic mesh wires and a flexible graft, either made of fabric (Dacron) or textile ePTFE (Teflon). The packaging of the stent grafts is achieved by folding the metallic mesh structure. The graft, which is stitched or bonded to the metallic wire frame, is considered to be flexible enough so that it can be neatly folded in between wires once the stent graft is compressed, with the expectation that the expansion of the stent would automatically deploy the cover into the desired shape. This often results in an inherent incompatibility between the stent and graft leading to clinical complications: uneven distribution of stresses causing shortened fatigue life of the materials, and rupture or entanglement occur during expansion of a stent graft. Meanwhile, both Dacron and Teflon are extremely thrombogenic and inelastic unlike natural arterial tissue. These are causative factors in the failure of the fabric graft as these are thin and may degrade with time leading to failure of the device.Herein we propose to solve these problems in three ways. Firstly we will adopt a novel packaging technique to fold the entire stent graft (rather than only a metallic frame) into a small and uniform diameter in order to avoid geometric incompatibility. The folding is achieved by generating a set of folds onto the surface of a graft using origami based techniques. Secondly we will make the graft from an elastic non-thrombogenic ceramic based polymer. And thirdly we will apply recently developed spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) and neutron reflection (NR) spectroscopic analysis methods to determine how durable these material are in vitro. Successful delivery of the programme will lead to the development of a stent graft that has significant advantages over existing devices including: geometric simplicity and compatibility between the graft and the frame, and hence a more reliable expansion mechanism; higher radial strength and provide the ability to shape the structure of both the stent itself and that of the graft in order to anchor the device in the artery, and better bio-compatibility with both blood and tissue. By combining engineering, materials and surface science this allows purely structural concepts to be applied to new materials as used for stent manufacture, simplifying the regulatory pathway and acceptance to the marketplace. The proposal is highly likely to succeed as it has a unique integrated structure. All the applicants have international reputations in their own fields, have established records in integrated explorative projects, have recognised track records for commercialising concepts and products and are well suited for carrying out the proposed research.
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