achieved by generating an autologous, flap-bearing, contractile conduit in the sense of a subpulmonary neo-ventricle.
The aim of the project is to improve the quality of life and prevent morbidity and mortality in patients in the Fontan circulation. This is to be achieved by generating an autologous, valve-bearing, contractile conduit in the sense of a subpulmonary neo-ventricle. The resulting directed, pulsatile blood flow via the pulmonary arteries could prevent the pathological increase in central venous pressure in the long-term and thus significantly reduce the morbidity and mortality of the patients.
There are currently only a few research groups worldwide that have succeeded in producing contractile heart tissue in vitro. The Hamburg part of our working group "Engineered Heart Tissue in Congenital Heart Disease" has already been able to show that constructs generated in vitro have the properties of native myocardium and also survive in vivo. Furthermore, in recent years it has been possible to differentiate autologous, inducible pluripotent stem cells cardiacally and to use these cells for the production of engineered heart tissue. The Aachen part of the working group has extensive experience in vascular and valvular tissue engineering. The expertise ranges from development to preclinical testing. The approach of generating a contractile Fontan conduit is new and is currently only being pursued by our working group worldwide. The collaboration between the Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials Department of the Helmholtz Institute Aachen, headed by Prof. Jockenhövel, and the Experimental Pharmacology Department of the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, headed by Prof. Eschenhagen, provides the opportunity to combine two locations with extensive experience in the field of vascular, valvular and cardiac tissue engineering.
Daniel Biermann (Physician, Assistant Cardiac Surgery for Congenital Heart Defects, University Heart Centre Hamburg);
PD Dr. Jörg Siegmar Sachweh (Physician, Head Physician, Cardiac Surgery for Congenital Heart Defects, University Heart Center Hamburg).
Prof. Dr. Thomas Eschenhagen (Physician, Director of Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf)
Prof. Dr. Arne Hansen (Physician, Director AG Tissue Engineering, Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology, University Medical Center Hamburg- Eppendorf)
Prof. Dr. Stefan Jockenhövel (Physician, Head of the Department of Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials, Helmholtz Institute of RWTH Aachen University)