Start: In alignment with student (2018)
Duration: 3 – 6 months (internship / graduation)
Educational level: Bachelor / Academic
Education: Mechanical or biomedical engineering
A new project within DEMCON Medical Systems is the development of artificial ‘chordae tendineae’, also known as the heart strings. These cord-like tendons (see Picture), that are connected to the heart valves (tricuspid and mitral valve) on the one hand and the heart muscle on the other hand, prevent the valves from collapsing and thereby the blood from flowing in the opposite direction.
When the tendons rupture, this can lead to leakage of one of the valves, causing serious impairment of the cardiac function. In this case, the tendons should be repaired. Currently, there is no suitable solution for this and cardiothoracic surgeons are struggling to get the best out of each procedure.
The project involves the development of artificial tendons, consisting of (1) an anchor (to fixate the tendon to the heart muscle, (2) a clamping mechanism to hold the valve and (3) a slider to be able to adjust the artificial tendon to its relevant length.