A heart prosthesis for life

Sirris is making its 3D printing skills available to help life by participating in a project to develop a polymeric prosthetic heart valve and is strengthening its skills in the development of printed medical products.

The European regional cooperation Poly-Valve project 'Polymeric Prosthetic Heart Valve for Life' is already well advanced. It relates to the development of long-life artificial heart valves that are tailor-made and based on polyurethane. 3D printing is the selected technology for this purpose.

In this project, Sirris is working in several directions which are strengthening its skills in the development of high added-value medical products:

  • The goal is to produce tailor-made prostheses for patients suffering heart valve diseases and Sirris is responsible for processing the medical image data and making it useable to produce individualised geometrical models with high anatomical precision.
  • As this relates to the production of long-lasting valves, with good mechanical properties and complete biocompatibility, the problem of the choice of material is crucial. Once this has been selected by the doctors, it has to be made printable, which is not so clear cut. Sirris has acquired skills in the 3D printing of complex flexible products in TPU.
  • Moreover, Sirris is studying the feasibility, for industrial use, of a manufacturing process that is fast and reproducible for polymeric heart valves.

The Poly-Valve project is coordinated by the University of Liège under the Meuse-Rhin Interreg. The other partners, apart from Sirris, are Hasselt University - Limburg Clinical Research Program LCRP, Uniklinik RWTH Aachen - Teaching and Research Dept. Cardiovascular Technology, Maastricht University - Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM).