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One of the principal problems hampering development of an artificial heart is the lack of compatibility between blood and the plastics used in construction of the prosthesis.
Silastic®, a silicone rubber compound that is the most widely used construction material, is adequate only for short periods.
A possible solution to this problem is to allow the blood to coat the inner surface of the pump with a layer of blood proteins, thus forming a compatible interface of biological tissue. The plastic itself, however, does not present a satisfactory bonding surface for the protein, which after a time will separate to form emboli.
Investigators at Baylor University Medical School and Rice University Department of Chemical Engineering, report that a satisfactory interface of blood tissue can be achieved—and retained—if the inner surface of the pump is first lined with velour, a velvet-like knitted fabric.
"In our search for a material which
Externally Mounted Heart Pump Uses Velour Lining. JAMA. 1966;196(2):27–28. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100150015004
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