On 21 February 2012, DSM and University Medical Centre Utrecht announced that they have entered into a collaboration agreement on the use of DSM’s fibre technology for the development of a new heart valve. DSM will contribute its Dyneema Purity fibre technology to enable UMC Utrecht to develop and evaluate a prototype of a non-biological supportive scaffold for the minimally invasive treatment of valvular and vascular diseases.
The primary objective of this collaboration is to combine UMC Utrecht’s clinical expertise and cardiovascular device testing experience with DSM’s innovative fibre technology and fibre processing expertise. UMC Utrecht chose DSM’s Dyneema Purity fibres for designing heart valve and blood vessel wound closure devices for their extreme strength, high flex fatigue resistance, low elongation, minimal profile and tear resistant properties.
The end goal of this collaboration is to build up know-how and assess the preclinical feasibility of a fibre-based heart valve. Once demonstrated feasibility, DSM and UMC Utrecht will jointly reach out to medical device companies to explore options for further development.
“DSM is pleased to make Dyneema Purity fibres available to the renowned team at UMC Utrecht. This technology will provide surgeons with a material that has the strength and durability to potentially endure the severe mechanical conditions that a heart valve leaflet is exposed to. We are dedicated to open innovation and seek opportunities to link our technology to innovative research on an ongoing basis. Through collaborative partnerships we can explore new ideas and create solutions that provide better outcomes for patients,” said Carola Hansen, Business Manager for Dyneema Purity fibre, DSM Biomedical.
With a team of internationally renowned heart and vascular surgeons, and researchers supervised by Gerard Pasterkamp, UMC Utrecht has clinical expertise on the latest developments in heart valve technology as lately applied by Jolanda Kluin, and less invasive vascular treatments performed by Joost van Herwaarden.
“We believe that heart valves with scaffolding made from Dyneema Purity fibres have the potential to lead to a revolutionary new solution, giving those dealing with heart disease the benefit of a less invasive transcatheter heart valve replacement. Although we are in a very early feasibility stage and prototyping only, we believe Dyneema Purity fibre is a very interesting material to use as basis for this feasibility study,” said principal investigator Paul Gründeman, Division Heart and Lungs at UMC Utrecht.
“Typically, Dyneema Purity fibre has great potential in novel approaches to minimal invasive vascular surgical therapies because of its unique properties” said Frans L Moll, Department of Vascular Surgery at UMC Utrecht.