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3D-Printed Sugar-Based Stents Facilitating Vascular Anastomosis.


Microvascular anastomosis is a common part of many reconstructive and transplant surgical procedures. While venous anastomosis can be achieved using microvascular anastomotic coupling devices, surgical suturing is the main method for arterial anastomosis. Suture-based microanastomosis is time-consuming and challenging. Here, dissolvable sugar-based stents are fabricated as an assistive tool for facilitating surgical anastomosis. The nonbrittle sugar-based stent holds the vessels together during the procedure and are dissolved upon the restoration of the blood flow. The incorporation of sodium citrate minimizes the chance of thrombosis. The dissolution rate and the mechanical properties of the sugar-based stent can be tailored between 4 and 8 min. To enable the fabrication of stents with desirable geometries and dimensions, 3D printing is utilized to fabricate the stents. The effectiveness of the printed sugar-based stent is assessed ex vivo. The fabrication procedure is fast and can be performed in the operating room.

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