Biocompatible Coatings for Vascular Grafts and Blood Contacting Surfaces

Improving medical outcomes

At a Glance

Researchers at Colorado State University have developed novel methods for enhancing engineering plastics with natural biomolecules such as hyaluronan.

Preliminary data shows these novel materials have excellent hemodynamics and low thrombogenecity when implemented in flexible polymeric leaflets for prosthetic heart valves. Moreover, these devices demonstrated superior wear and durability characteristics, in vivo performance, and ease of manufacture (in stent and transcatheter configurations). This technology is especially impactful for use in the emerging transcatheter space, devices having blood contacting surfaces (suture rings, sewing cuffs, etc.), and in groups unable to receive anti-coagulation drugs like women of childbearing age.


There are currently 300,000 heart valve replacements each year worldwide and this number is estimated to triple by 2050. The materials most often utilized for these replacement valves can have substantial drawbacks for patient health. Bioprosthetic heart valves have shorter functional lifespans when compared to non-biological mechanical heart valves and can be substantially more expensive to manufacture. Mechanical heart valves are much less expensive because of their ability to be mass produced, but are much more prone to cause thrombosis. Patients receiving mechanical valves usually spend a lifetime taking anti-coagulation drugs.

In developing nations such as India, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a rapidly growing epidemic and today >60% of the world’s heart disease patients are Indian (World Health Organization, 2012 Statistical Update). Indians are more prone to CVD and the disease manifests itself in a variety of forms among Indian citizens – as coronary artery disease due to lifestyle habits and smoking in adults; as heart valve disease due to rheumatic fever in adults and teenagers; and as congenital birth defects of the heart in infants.

An estimated 2.2 million patients have heart valve disease secondary to rheumatic fever. The most promising current advancements – catheter-delivered prostheses – rely on tissue valves with unacceptable durability for the young HV patient typical in the developing world. This makes our technology particularly suitable given its potential for low-cost manufacturing without compromising performance.


  • Greatly reduces the thrombogenic nature of blood contacting devices
  • Exhibits superior wear and durability to last a lifetime
  • Combines strength, toughness, and flexibility of synthetic, hydrophobic polymers
  • Capable of being used on a multitude of existing medical devices


  • Medical device coatings (e.g., catheter, vascular graft, blood contacting devices, artificial blood vessels, etc.)
  • Application in individuals unable to receive anti‑coagulation drugs
Last Updated: April 2022
Open heart surgery being performed

Available for Licensing


Susan P. James
Ketul Popat
David Prawel
Harold Dean IV
Lakshmi Prashad Dasi
Marcio Forleo

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Licensing Manager

Steve Foster