September 01, 2016 - 8:00 PM
OKANAGAN - Synthetic heart valves, arteries and veins developed by a heart surgeon and a UBC Okanagan professor could allow surgeons to move away from practicing heart surgery on human and animal cadavers.
Inventor assistant professor Hadi Mohammadi said in press release the drawback to practicing on cadavers is they break down quickly without preservatives.
“This synthetic material doesn’t decompose and can’t be contaminated, meaning doctors can practice their technique almost anywhere,” Mohammadi said.
The synthetic human tissue feels like the real thing, more so than cadavers. Co-inventor Dr. Guy Fradet, head of cardiovascular surgery at Kelowna General Hospital, said patients can only benefit from making it easier for surgeons to practice.
The tissue is already being used by surgeons and medical residents at the hospital, Fradet said.
Next step is to develop a synthetic heart, the two men say, which could eliminate the need for cadaver tissue for practice purposes.
Their invention was recently featured in Cardiovascular Engineering and Technology.
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