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Natural polyester makes new sutures stronger, safer

victory, but it's also a victory for society because this leads to new medical devices that can help people in new and novel ways," said Sinskey, who is one of the founders of Tepha and sits on its board of directors.

The new suture is the first of what the researchers hope will be many medical devices made from the natural polyesters.

"What we've found is that this one material seems to be finding a lot of use in different applications," because of its wide range of desirable properties, Williams said.

Tepha is now working on developing other medical devices, such as surgical meshes, multifilament fibers and stents. Ultimately, the researchers hope to develop an artificial scaffold that could be used to grow heart valves after being implanted in a patient, which would spare children with heart valve defects from undergoing repeated surgeries. Tests of the device in animals have shown promise.

"We've been able to show we can produce a valve scaffold that functions better and can grow with the animal," Williams said. "If the valve can grow with the patient, you don't need the repeated surgeries."


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Contact: Elizabeth Thomson
thomson@mit.edu
617-258-5402
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
22-Mar-2007


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