Traditional hand-suturing for vascular connection techniques is time consuming, expensive, and requires highly complex instruments and technical expertise. The aim of this study is to develop a new vascular coupler that can be used in end-to-end anastomosis surgery in an easier and more efficient way for both arteries and veins. The vascular coupler has four rotatable wings and one translatable spike in each wing. Prototypes were manufactured using polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). A set of installation tools was designed to facilitate the anastomosis process. Proof-of-concept testing with the vascular coupler using plastic tubes and porcine cadaver vessels showed that the coupler should work as designed. A simplified finite element (FE) model assisted in the evaluation of the tearing likelihood of human vessels during installation of the coupler. Results of tests on the coupler showed that the vascular coupler could be efficiently attached to blood vessels, did not leak after the anastomosis was performed, had sufficient joint strength, and had little impact on flow in the vessel. The entire anastomosis process can be completed in 3 min when using the vascular coupler to join porcine cadaver vessels.
A New Vascular Coupler Design for End-to-End Anastomosis: Fabrication and Proof-of-Concept Evaluation
Manuscript received July 7, 2014; final manuscript received February 23, 2015; published online July 16, 2015. Assoc. Editor: John LaDisa.
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Li, H., Gehrke, C., Gale, B. K., Sant, H., Coats, B., and Agarwal, J. (September 1, 2015). "A New Vascular Coupler Design for End-to-End Anastomosis: Fabrication and Proof-of-Concept Evaluation." ASME. J. Med. Devices. September 2015; 9(3): 031002. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4029924
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