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July 22, 2011
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Upstate, SU share grant to test prosthetic materials

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Researchers at Upstate Medical University and Syracuse University will share a $24,600 grant from the Central New York Community Foundation’s Joseph C. George Estate Fund to study new prosthetic materials that may stimulate cell growth for the treatment of vascular disease.

Upstate researchers Vivian Gahtan, M.D., the Rodgers Professor of Surgery and chief of vascular and endovascular surgery, and Kristopher Maier, Ph.D., assistant professor of surgery, will test whether special prosthetic materials designed by Syracuse University researcher Patrick T. Mather, Ph.D., graduate student Ifeanyi Onyejekwe, will disperse chemicals or drugs in a way to stimulate the formation of endothelial cell layers. Test results could help expedite research into the development of functional artificial blood vessels.

Treatment of vascular disease often requires surgery called bypass grafting, which is commonly performed using a blood vessel from the patient. However, blood vessels are often not healthy or strong enough for the procedure, thus requiring the use of prosthetic materials.

Prosthetic grafts have limited ability to stimulate endothelial cell growth and normal function, which is believed to be one factor associated with bypass graft failure.

The prosthetic materials developed by Mather have the ability to release nitric oxide over a period of weeks that could help stimulate cell growth that could lead to more favorable vascular surgery outcomes. Nitric oxide is able create an environment that stimulates endothelial cell growth on prosthetic materials.

The Joseph C. Georg Estate Fund to benefit cancer and heart research is name for the owner a local snow removal and highway construction equipment dealership.

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