In Vitro Approach to the Dilative Behavior of Knitted Vascular Prosthetic Grafts

Nabil Chakfe, Florence Dieval, Lu Wang, Fabien Thaveau, Simon Rinckenbach, Saleem Edah-Tally, Daniel Mathieu, Jean François Le Magnen, Gunnar Riepe, Jean Georges Kretz, Bernard Durand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The purpose of this report is to propose an in vitro approach to predicting the long-term dilative behavior of knitted polyester prosthetic grafts. Various techniques were applied to five warp knitted fabric prosthetic grafts in order to determine the following fabric properties: knitted fabric structure, textile structure, number and respective linear density of threads and strands, and length of yarn in each stitch. Following these investigations, the prosthetic grafts underwent testing to determine specific strength at break, breaking extension, and stress-strain curve. On two prosthetic grafts, image analysis was performed during circumferential tensile strength testing in order to monitor changes in structural features as a function of stress. Changes in the distance between two wales and two courses of stitches and stitch surface were measured. In addition to surface deformation, thickness was measured, using an induction sensor. Study of fabric structure showed many differences between the five models made by different manufacturers. Knit fabric structure was Indeforma in three cases and half-tricot in two. Strand number and size varied greatly from one model to another. Pattern also varied from one model to another, with knit stitch density varying from 1 to 3. Specific strength at break testing showed great differences in the mechanical properties of the grafts. These differences were especially obvious in the first part of the rheograms, which reflects the ability of the graft to comply in response to low-strength forces, i.e., much lower than those necessary to cause rupture. Image analysis of stitch behavior under stress further confirmed differences in graft behavior depending on the fabric structure adopted by the manufacturers. The in vitro approach proposed in this study to analyze the fabric characteristics of knitted prosthetic grafts effectively revealed differences in construction and behavior. These differences could account for differences in the dilative behavior of grafts in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-411
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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