Staff Events

Next generation regenerative implants to repair the diseased heart

Max Emmert headshot

Maximilian Y. Emmert, MD, PhD


Abstract

Valvular heart disease and congenital heart defects represent major causes of death around the globe. Although current therapy strategies have rapidly developed over the last decades, the currently used artificial prostheses are still considered to be suboptimal. They do not promote regeneration, physiological remodeling or growth (particularly important aspects for children) as their native counterparts. This leads to the continuous degeneration and subsequent failure of such substitutes which is associated to an increased morbidity and the need for multiple re-interventions.

To overcome this problem, the concept of regenerative medicine comprising of tissue-, bio- engineering and hybrid technologies has been suggested as a next generation approach to enable native-like cardiovascular replacements with regenerative and growth capacities, amendable to young adults and children. However, despite promising data from preclinical and first clinical pilot trials, the translation and clinical relevance of such technologies is still very limited. Thereasons for that are multifaceted and comprise of scientific, logistical, infrastructural and regulatory challenges that need to be systematically addressed in order to facilitate clinical translation of such next generation cardiovascular substitutes.