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Microsystem integration based on electroactive polymer gels for cardiovascular applications

Microsystem integration based on electroactive polymer gels for cardiovascular applications

Objective

Actuators based on electroactive polymer (EAP) hydrogels constitute a very attractive yet poorly explored technology. EAP hydrogels can expand and contract by several times their original volume by application of a small voltage. They can be engineered to be either porous or non-porous and the pore density and distribution can also be controlled. Their inherent limitations of very low actuation speed and need to operate in an aqueous medium constitute no impediment – and in fact make them particularly suitable – to a host of medical applications, some of them with high economic and societal relevance.
The Heart-e-Gel project utilises a microsystem concept based on electrode activation to change the volume of EAP hydrogels designed for operation in the cardiovascular system. Given the soft and aqueous nature of these gels and considering the need to accommodate for large volume changes, integrating these materials into complete microsystems poses unique challenges in terms of heterogeneous integration.
Heart-e-Gel proposes to target specific medical applications and will require modelling of the microsystem-medical interface as well as assessing the potential of different material, actuation, volume sensing, and system delivery options. Three types of systems of immediate interest in cardiovascular surgery have been selected: a generic occluder for vascular repair, a system for improving endografts/stents for the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms, and an adaptable band around the pulmonary artery for patients with congenital heart diseases, or with arteriovenous fistulas.
While carrying out the systematic study of EAP hydrogel integration into microsystems, substantial information on processing and characterisation will be gathered and will ultimately lead to a technology library that can enable microsystem designers to address an even wider range of applications.

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK - NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND, CORK

Address

Western Road
T12 Yn60 Cork

Ireland

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 749 798

Administrative Contact

Conor Delaney (Mr.)

Participants (7)

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KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN

Belgium

EU Contribution

€ 342 314

INTERUNIVERSITAIR MICRO-ELECTRONICA CENTRUM

Belgium

EU Contribution

€ 412 318

UNIVERSITEIT GENT

Belgium

EU Contribution

€ 408 448

SORIN CRM SAS

France

EU Contribution

€ 134 258

CREGANNA UNLIMITED COMPANY

Ireland

EU Contribution

€ 20 298

TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY

Israel

EU Contribution

€ 244 604

TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITEIT DELFT

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 437 962

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 258909

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 September 2010

  • End date

    28 February 2014

Funded under:

FP7-ICT

  • Overall budget:

    € 3 751 592

  • EU contribution

    € 2 750 000

Coordinated by:

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK - NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND, CORK

Ireland