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College of Engineering and Computing

Biomedical Engineering

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Analysis and Improvement

Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) relieves coronary artery diseases by bypassing stenosed regions of the coronary vascular. Over 400,000 CABGs are conducted each year in the U.S. alone, and over 6% of these grafts fail in the first 12 months. We postulate that many of these failures are due to mechanical mismatch between the grafted vessel and coronary circulation. We’ve tested this hypothesis through biaxial mechanical testing fit to a continuum mechanics framework of common CABG vessels: the internal thoracic artery (ITA), radial artery (RA), great saphenous vein (GSV) and lateral saphenous vein (LSV). These results are compared to the left anterior descending artery (LAD). Our results show that a correlation exists between observed clinical failure rates and the degree of mechanical deviation from a vessels in situ and grafted environment. We have provisional patent on a device, “The Descartes Perfusion Bioreactor” capable of improving vascular grafts prior to implantation.


Prim DA and Zhou B, Hartstone-Rose A, Uline MJ, Shazly TS, Eberth JF. A Mechanical Argument for the Differential Performance of Coronary Artery Grafts. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials. In review.

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