Technology Description

Topograft is a synthetic vascular prosthetic that uses reversible surface topographic actuation to drive renewal at the fluid/surface interface. At the heart of our technology is the concentrated cyclical infusion of mechanical energy at the foulant/polymer interface that leads to foulant dislodgment and surface renewal. In the current formulation, reversible surface wrinkling in composite polymer multilayers is used as the source of surface topography. Our detailed computational and analytical analysis allows the design of tailored surface topographies for specified foulant burdens in diverse industrial and medical applications. Initial studies in a porcine model have shown this concept works in reducing platelet adhesion when compared with smooth static surfaces, like those used in standard vascular grafts, by up to 95 percent.


  • Eliminates the need for a harvesting surgery
  • Longer-lasting than synthetic vascular grafts
  • Continually eliminates foulants (e.g., clots)


  • Cardiac and lower extremity bypasses
  • Dialysis access surgery (arteriovenous fistula, graft, or catheter)

IP Status

An US provisional patent application filed Oct. 18, 2016 and preparation of a PCT application is currently in progress.

Stage of Development

Currently optimizing for specific foulants, investigating biocompatible materials that are approved for implantation, and improving manufacturing methods in anticipation of a prototype in 2017-2018.

Notable Mentions

  • NSF I-Corps Program Grant, $50,000
  • Pitt Center for Medical Innovation, $45,000
  • Kuzneski Innovation Cup, $3,000
  • Pitt Ventures First Gear Program, $6,000