Bionics Team to Grow and ‘Train’ Replacement Arteries

Photo credit: Queensland University of Technology

A young team of scientists and engineers in Brisbane, Australia who won a  $50,000 cash prize in Bionics Gamechangers’s Challenge 2020 are forging ahead with their innovation.

The team led by Professor Mia Woodruff from the Biofabrication and Tissue Morphology Group at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) are using soft robotics to help ‘train’ tissue engineered vascular grafts – a bionic implant which could potentially help people suffering from peripheral artery disease worldwide.

With over 200 million people diagnosed with peripheral artery disease (PAD) worldwide, many have a real and ever-present risk of chronic pain, clots, heart attack, amputation and death. The femoropopliteal artery that runs behind the knee is the most likely  place where PAD occurs.

Project Lead and scientist, Trent Brooks-Richards said his team’s tissue-engineered vascular graft (TEVG) will cope with everyday stresses and strains, because it is trained to do using mechanical stimuli generated by a soft robot while it is still growing on a scaffold inside a bioreactor.

Read more via the QUT website.