We have made this animated film for the amazing research project ImaValve from Eindhoven University of Technology.
About 300.000 patients each year receive a heart valve replacement that is either a mechanical device or produced from animal tissue.
Although these valves generally improve survival and quality of life, they do not consist of living tissue and therefore cannot grow with the patient or repair themselves in case of damage. Especially for younger patients this results in a high probability of repeated valve replacements, with associated risks to health and even life.
The researchers in the ImaValve (Intelligent materials for in-situ heart Valve tissue engineering) project want to realize the dream of a creating a living heart valve that is grown inside the patient’s body at the site of destination and that consists of the patient’s own tissue. As such, the valve should be able to repair itself and grow with the patient.
The ImaValve is a device that consists of a slowly degrading elastomeric polymer, processed into a valve shape via a process called electrospinning. The valve can be placed in the body in a minimally invasive fashion using a stent and a delivery device.
We want to thank Carlijn Bouten, Max Emmert and Tristan Mes for their cooperation.
Eindhoven University of Technology
Director I: Jesper Buijvoets
Director II: Caspar de Zeeuw
Producer: Caspar de Zeeuw
D.O.P.: Peter Reese
Editor: Jesper Buijvoets
Sound design: Maarten Westra - Dither
Animator: David Torrico
Surgeon: Nikola Cesarovic