Head of the BioTex Institute
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RUBIN alliance: Resorbable medical solutions from the Aachen technology region - reACT
As part of the funding program "RUBIN - Regionale unternehmerische Bündnisse für Innovation", the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) aims to improve strategic cooperation between companies as well as between companies and universities and research institutions. The alliances promote competitive profile building in a region, enabling regional value chains, innovative products and services, and access to new markets.
The aim of the collaborative project "Cardiovascular Intervention - Research into temporally adaptive partially resorbable vascular implants for cardiovascular care" is to research implant concepts that address the urgent clinical need for temporally adaptive partially resorbable endoluminal support structures (stents). In Germany, there are an estimated 300,000 patients living with congenital heart disease, of which at least 20% will require heart valve replacement during their lifetime. The reduced durability due to early calcification of so-called bioprostheses (homografts and xenografts) results in the need for multiple repeat surgeries. In addition to adults, this affects children in particular, as the lack of growth potential and the associated lack of adaptation to the increasing hemodynamic requirements also come into play. The use of the innovation base of the reACT project enables the combination of new resorbable materials (e.g. resorbable metals with non-resorbable materials and adaptive hydrogels) using innovative manufacturing processes (e.g. 3D printing and textile technology) together with the highly specialized application knowledge of our clinical partners.
BioTex is working on the sub-project "Cardiovascular Intervention - Biohybrid partially resorbable adult and juvenile heart valves". In order to provide adequate heart valves for the minimally invasive therapy of congenital heart valve defects in childhood, both the valve structure itself and the stent structure must be able to adapt to the growth of the child's organism. The material combination of a non-degradable basic structure with an integrated, controlled degradable thread system allows the valve structure to grow with the child. In the stent concept investigated in the overall project, BioTex will introduce the valve leaflets for the production of heart valves. The valve leaflets, designed as biohybrid constructs, are characterized not only by an eminent bio- and hemocompatibility, but also by a partially resorbable textile reinforcement, which, in addition to permanent stability, allows the constructs to grow along with the body's own cells after repopulation.
Klinik für Kardiologie, Uniklinik Aachen
This project is funded by the BMBF (funding code 03RU1U174C).