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Artificial Teflon arteries, United States, 1994

Cardiovascular disease – in which an individual’s arteries can harden and become blocked – is a major cause of death, particularly in the developed world. These prosthetic arteries, made out of Teflon, are inserted into the body to replace the function of the natural arteries. Although it can prolong life, the material has its limitations and a new generation of improved synthetic arteries is currently being developed. Teflon, a non-stick material, was first developed in 1938 at Dupont’s Jackson Research Laboratory in New Jersey, USA. Dupont have made Teflon for a variety of uses including, saucepans, clothing, buildings and – as in this case – surgical implants.

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Related Themes and Topics



Glossary: prostheses

Artificial body parts, or materials inserted into tissue for functional, cosmetic, or therapeutic effect. Prostheses can be functional (artificial arms and legs), or cosmetic (artificial eye).

Glossary: artificial artery

A complete or partial replacement of the arteries using materials such as Teflon, plastic or metal.

Glossary: Teflon shunt

A shunt is a passage connecting two anatomical features, for instance, an artery and a vein. Teflon is a non-stick plastic polytetrafluoroethylene.