According to the WHO study "Global Burden of Disease", ischemic cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. Various heart diseases can lead to severe heart failure. This means that the heart is so weakened that its pumping function is just sufficient to keep the body alive. Cardiac support systems (VAD) are used to relieve the weakened heart. For the therapeutic success of implantable VADs, blood compatibility (hemocompatibility) is one of the most important factors. If it is insufficient, this leads to thrombosis, one of the most frequent complications with such systems.
To accompany therapy, patients are therefore continuously given anticoagulants whose side effects further restrict their quality of life. To further reduce the risk of thrombosis, it is also advantageous to equip implants with extremely smooth surfaces. However, this is still associated with high manufacturing costs today, as manual finishing processes are often used.
The "HOC-Surf" project aims to improve the hemocompatibility of implantable VADs - while at the same time reducing costs through the use of coordinated ceramization. To this end, different manufacturing strategies and ceramization processes are first tested using analogous components of the VADs and examined with regard to their surface topology and the associated hemocompatibility. Subsequently, in-depth studies and simulations are used to determine the influence of blood flow and tribological properties on the hemocompatibility of the ceramicized surfaces. Finally, the developed manufacturing strategies are implemented using prototypes to validate the design and processes. Finally, an evaluation of the hemocompatibility will be performed both in vitro and in vivo.
The findings from the project should enable the construction of a cardiac assist pump that is superior to current systems both functionally and economically.
Project Management Organization Jülich, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH