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Blood Vessel Grafts to Repair the Human Body
Artist rendition of VasoGraft anastomotic
implantation into the femoral artery
cutaway artery
Artist rendition of VasoGraft implantation
after 30 days, showing 100% patency, cellular integration and endurance

Since 2003, animal studies conducted at the VAMC-Minneapolis demonstrated in pigs (the human cardiovascular size equivalent) that Gel-Del® biomedical materials hold great promise as artificial blood vessels, including those that supply the human heart. VasoGraft, aimed at small diameter blood vessels, is made from Gel-Del materials designed to mimic natural blood vessel tissue in almost every respect, including the components used to make it. It is supple and elastic, yet able to tolerate high blood pressures while allowing host vessel tissue to integrate into the graft. Gel-Del developed the biomaterial, VasoCover, used to make VasoGraft from a configured assembly of biochemicals, including bound heparin, thus providing an effective non-clotting, blood-compatible surface for any cardiovascular device.

In pursuit of VasoGraft technology over the past several years, Gel-Del Technologies has won four National Institute of Health grants totaling over $6.1 million, including collaborations with Surmodics, The University of Minnesota, and VAMC-Minneapolis. As directed by our business plan, VasoLogix, Inc., a Gel-Del Technologies Company, will develop devices and biomaterial coatings for use in synthetic blood vessels and other blood contacting devices such as stents and catheters.

Exciting VasoGraft studies have recently been completed. An end-to-side connection shunt (Gel-Del's VasoShunt®) successfully allows blood to flow from the carotid artery to the jugular vein for two weeks with a 12 cm long graft as part of a 12 sheep study funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), outperforming control ePTFE teflon shunts. In addition, VasoCover coated micro-catheters successfully kept blood flowing in a 1 week rabbit ear vein study where catheter and vein are about the same size. These Gel-Del coated catheters are being developed for use in newborn babies where tiny veins can easily clot to stop blood flow while using currently available catheters (funded by NCAT at NIH).

VasoLogix, Inc. uses VasoCover technology to create cardiovascular products that integrate with the cells and tissues while providing an effective non-clotting, blood-compatible surface.