Development of an active interface system for the interior of artificial hearts and heart support systems

The aim in the Heart 2.0 project is to develop an active interface system for the inside of artificial hearts and cardiac assist devices, combining innovative concepts of molecular engineering, bio- and nanotechnology, surface engineering and fluid dynamics. An ageing population and high incidence of heart disease mean that more and more people are suffering from terminal heart failure. The shortage of donor hearts and insufficient supply leads to long waiting times with deteriorating quality of life and increasing life risk.

ReinHeart/ReinVAD has developed artificial heart assist devices that completely replace the function of the natural heart and provide a therapeutic alternative to heart transplantation. However, the contact of blood with the titanium/polymer surface of the artificial heart and the heart assist device remains a challenge and leads to undesirable thromboembolic complications.

Our aim is to develop an active interface system for artificial hearts and cardiac assist devices. This system not only reduces the activation of coagulation, but also actively influences the blood components and thus contributes to the recovery of patients. Via the anchor peptides, antifouling polymer brushes are bound to the titanium/polymer surface of the artificial heart. The additional immobilisation of corn trypsin inhibitor, CTI, and tissue-specific plasminogen activator, tPA, locally inhibits surface-induced coagulation and activates fibrinolysis if a clot is formed. In addition, laser structuring is used to create biomimetic surface topographies that generate migrating eddy currents and thus high shear at the interface to detach the clots. The two biological strategies play a role especially in the acute initial phase of implantation, while titanium structuring remains active for years.

Member of the Scientific Board

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schwaneberg

+49 241 80-24170
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Associate scientist

Prof. Dr. César Rodriguez-Emmenegger

+49 241 80-23362
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