In LifeTec Group’s lab facility in Eindhoven, the first study using human cadaveric hearts has been very successfully conducted on the Cardiac Biosimulator Platform.
LifeTec Group has been very active in recent years in developing physiologically relevant experimental platforms to support assessment studies of new device innovations and therapies.
The actual performance of cardiac devices is often very much depending on the conditions of the environment in which the device is going to be introduced.
“creating a realistic environment for testing”
Since standard bench-top machines only partially represent the true in-vivo environment, translation of results from bench to patient is often very challenging. Because of these translational issues, LifeTec Group has been focusing on creating a realistic environment for testing new device concepts in a laboratory setting.
This has resulted in ex-vivo platforms, both for acute and culturing studies, where real animal tissues are used in combination with bench-top hardware to create a realistic test environment.
“Up until this month”
Up until this month, mostly porcine hearts have been used for these studies. As the hearts are harvested from slaughterhouse animals, there are no ethical considerations involved anymore and as such the ex-vivo studies can serve to reduce acute animal trials.
Even though these animal hearts provide a very realistic environment for testing of device innovations, the hearts are all young and healthy and their anatomy will be slightly different from human hearts.
The use of human hearts in these platforms opens new possibilities to make the testing even more realistic. Human cadaveric hearts are indeed more relevant, as they already have the correct anatomy, but they are also aged and have accumulated pathologies during the lifetime of the donor. And since most devices are designed to treat diseased hearts, investigating the interaction of new device concepts with diseased hearts is a very interesting and relevant next step to take.
Implantations of new devices as well as the effect of the intervention on cardiac performance can now be studied in human cadaveric hearts at LifeTec Group’s facility.