Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - CARDIOSIM (Development of a physiological simulator for cardiovascular devices)

Heart disease is a major cause of death in the Western world. In the past three decades there have been a number of improvements in artificial devices and surgical techniques for cardiovascular disease; however, there is still a need for novel devices, especially for those individuals who cannot receive conventional therapy. The major disadvantage of current artificial devices lies in the fact that they cannot grow, remodel or repair in vivo. Tissue engineering offers the possibility of developing a biological substitute material in vitro with the inherent mechanical, chemical, biological and morphological properties required in vivo, on an individual patient basis. In order to develop a true biological cardiovascular device a dynamic physiological environment needs to be created.

The main objective of this research was to develop a physiological simulator capable of mimicking the in-vivo biological, and biomechanical environment of the human coronary artery. In order to achieve this goal a number of specific tasks were identified and successfully completed. These tasks were conducted by three Marie Curie fellows and included the design and validation of the simulator, development of a cell-seeded model artery that mimicked the medial and endothelial cell layers of human artery, optimisation of a novel scaffold, mathematical modelling of the cells and examination of the effect physiological forces on cell behaviour in the model artery.

In addition to the wealth of scientific data obtained by the Marie Curie fellows, this transfer of knowledge programme resulted in the generation of 8 peer reviewed journal articles and 10 conference proceedings, thereby creating a greater awareness of the biomaterials and tissue engineering research conducted by the researchers at the NCBES on the international stage. Furthermore, the fellows participated in a total of 35 workshops and conferences, thereby allowing a number of new networking opportunities and collaborations to be created. By the same token, the Marie Curie fellows also benefited from their fellowships at the NCBES. In terms of career development, they participated in a range of training courses, seminars and workshops, allowing them to strengthen their scientific and writing skills and create important collaborations for their future careers.

In summary, the Marie Curie transfer of knowledge programme at the NCBES was a tremendous success; the recruitment of the experienced fellows allowed the growth and enhancement of the NCBES tissue engineering and biomaterials research programme and its promotion internationally, while simultaneously provided the fellows an exciting and encouraging environment to expand their research capabilities.

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