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26.02.2019 Print

Great prospects for cooperation

The Joint Research Agreement was signed this week between the Research Institute for Complex Issues of Cardiovascular Diseases and the Research Institute for Physical Chemical Problems of the Belarusian State University, Minsk, Belarus.

This collaboration is focused on the design of an optimal polymeric heart valve.

The cooperation of the Research Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases with the leading team of the Belarus Research Institute in the field of polymer synthesis opens up new perspectives in the development of biomedical devices.

The Laboratory of Catalysis of Polymerization Processes of the Belarus Research Institute is the leading one in the Republic of Belarus in the field of synthesis of polymers based on isobutylene and styrene. To date, these compounds seems to be promising in the development of medical devices that should have high biocompatibility and biostability.

Over the 5 past years, this international team has published more than 25 articles in the top ranked peer-reviewed international journals and participated in over 10 international conferences and congresses.

Moreover, Kemerovo and Minsk teams have some joint experience in the development of polymeric heart valves. The search for the optimal polymer represents the main challenge, since a synthetic product should mimic a human organ and replicate its function.

Kemerovo researchers performed a literature review to determine promising approaches to the polymer synthesis. Belarusian researchers supported the proposed concepts and suggested several options for this synthesis. The Research Institute for Physical Chemical Problems of the Belarusian State University has synthesized high molecular weight polymers (SIBS containing styrene and isobutylene blocks) with the cationic polymerization. Their physical and mechanical properties as well as hemocompatibility have been tested in the Research Institute for Complex Issues of Cardiovascular Diseases. The study results are prepared for a joint publication in the peer-reviewed journals.

- The development of a polymeric heart valve with high strength and biocompatibility is one of the main goals of modern biomedicine. Our collaboration with the Minsk colleagues allows us to design a novel technology for the synthesis of a new high molecular compounds, durable and stable biocompatible polymeric material – comments Evgeny Ovcharenko, Ph.D., Head of the Laboratory for Novel Biomaterials, Research Institute for Complex Issues of Cardiovascular Diseases. “This polymer is a promising material in the development of new blood-contacting medical devices. Its properties ensure the design of a new generation of heart valve prosthesis with flexible leaflets. This concept allows combining the advantages of mechanical and tissue heart valves and eliminating their major disadvantages, i.e. lifelong anticoagulant therapy, repeated heart valve replacement, etc. This polymeric heart valve will be a promising alternative for patients who need heart valve replacement and will significantly improve their quality of life”.

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