The standard method surgeons use to join grafted blood vessels to host vessels in cardiac bypass surgery is called hand suturing. This procedure creates a tight seal but is time-consuming and subject to a "purse-string effect," a common cause of bypass surgery failure. In most cases, the heart must be arrested during the procedure, leading to poor recovery and multiple complications. This E-Team received funding to develop and prototype a device that joins grafted blood vessels to host vessels in cardiac bypass surgery. The technology joins the vessels together without the complicated maneuvers that are difficult to perform on a beating heart. The procedure requires only fifteen seconds to implant the device and establishes the required "intima to intima contact" (the inside of one vessel to the inside of another vessel) between the anastomosed vessels.
The device is low cost and straightforward to manufacture. Due to its simplicity, surgeons can easily adopt the device and method since it does not require extensive training. The device that the team designed allows for minimally invasive surgery and would have fewer complications than other options.