All-in-one atmospheric pressure plasma jet assisted surface modification of exclusive heart valve, blood vessel and myocardium tissue-engineered scaffolds for an overall heart repair

01 October 2022 → 30 September 2025
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Physics of gases, plasmas and electric discharges not elsewhere classified
    • Chemistry of plasmas
  • Engineering and technology
    • Biomaterials engineering not elsewhere classified
    • Surface engineering
    • Tissue engineering
Heart tissue engineering Multipurpose atmospheric pressure plasma jet Plasma polymerization
Project description

Despite all medicine advances, cardiovascular diseases attacking heart valves, blood vessels and myocardium are still the leading cause of mortality. Given the fact that heart transplants are the only efficient but very tricky therapy, tissue engineering aiming at repairing on-target the damaged heart tissue has emerged. Although promising, current scaffold-based approaches are not fully successful mainly due a suboptimal combination of suitable topographical, mechanical and biochemical cues needed for efficient cell-material interactions. As such, in this project, mechanically adequate nanofibrous flat meshes, tubes and leaflet-shaped scaffolds will be electrospun to serve as myocardium, blood vessel and valve scaffolds respectively. In order to boost the complex-shaped scaffolds’ cytocompatibility, a highly novel and flexible atmospheric pressure plasma jet, that I newly designed, will be used to homogeneously deposit, with enhanced efficiency, stable amine-rich coatings. Amines will be used as binding sites for different biomolecules that are delicately chosen to direct specific cells to their desired fate. In fact, cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells and fibroblasts will be seeded on the myocardium, blood vessel and valve scaffolds respectively. Thanks to my expertise in APPJ treatments, fundamental insights surpassing the current state-of-the-art will be reaped. Overall, the obtained results are believed to constitute a breakthrough in the cardiac TE field.