We aim to develop materials that reduce foreign reactions in the body, to reduce the incidence of blood clot formation and biofouling.
Despite the widespread use of medical devices in cardiovascular medicine – including artificial hearts, vascular stents, vascular grafts, heart valves, pacemakers, catheters and cardiopulmonary bypass circuits – many side effects, such as blood clots (thrombosis) and microbe adhesion (biofouling), are promoted by the materials used to make these devices.
Thrombosis of medical devices is currently managed with medication that can cause additional complications, such as antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs that may cause bleeding. Biofouling is treated with antibiotics, but antibiotics cannot always penetrate the biofilm, and the overuse of antibiotics is leading to antibiotic resistant pathogens.
Increased understanding of biointerface interactions and methodology to assess materials could lead to the development of more compatible materials and devices to reduce the use of drugs, improve diagnostics for early disease detection and reduce risks for patients.