Ex-vivo heart perfusion | Cardiac transplantation | Regenerative medicine
My research focus is on improving a perfusion machine to preserve living heart ex-vivo for heart transplantation. Nowadays, they is no therapeutic intervention available when patients suffer from severe heart failure, only cardiac transplantation. The golden standard for cardiac transplantation is an ice storage for a maximum of 4 hours or an ex-vivo machine perfusion for a maximum of 6h.
My first aim is to optimize the perfusion characteristics, including temperature, perfusion fluid, and drugs addition, to achieve a 3 to 7 days perfusion. By increasing the time ex-vivo, we will increase the pool of available donor heart, enable a better compatibility between donor and recipient, and increase the quality of life of patients in the waiting list.
My second aim is to treat and repair patient own hearts ex-vivo before they need a cardiac transplantation and re-implant the heart in the same patient. To achieve this goal, I will combine our ex-vivo perfusion with different method of regenerative medicine like tissue engineering, stem cells therapy or by using extracellular vesicles.
Taken together, the result of my research will hopefully decrease the mortality rate for the in waiting list patient and open an large window of opportunity for future treatment and drug development.