Two Eindhoven-based TU/e researchers stand a good chance of winning a massive grant for their innovative research related to cardiovascular diseases.
They are professors Carlijn Bouten and Frans van de Vosse. Bouten devised a robotic heart. Van de Vosse developed a portable device that helps learn more about the functioning of the heart.
They are competing for €35 million from the British Heart Foundation. The foundation launched this competition because there is currently a huge shortage of funds for research into cardiovascular diseases.
“Robot heart makes donor heart redundant”
Bolts invented a soft robot heart. This is a silicone-like artificial organ with soft artificial muscles and sensors. Lab-grown human culture tissue is also used in its production. The heart is supplied with energy wirelessly through the skin. The artificial heart should make heart transplants superfluous in the future.
“It may, therefore, offer a solution for all those people who are still desperately waiting for donor hearts,” says the TU/e. Bouten wants to test a prototype on goats first. People would not be able to use the robot heart until 2040.
Van de Vosse wants his research to lead to improved diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. So he wants to develop ‘portable technology for everyday life’. These are innovative technical aids that people can carry with them. It can then measure and track physical activity and the functioning of the heart.
Heart disease is on the rise
According to the World Health Organization, the number of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases will increase worldwide in the coming decades. The British Heart Foundation received a total of 75 applications from 40 countries.
These were from researchers and developers from all over the world. The Eindhoven researchers have now made the top four. These remaining four teams now have six months in which to work out their proposals.
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Editor: Melinda Walraven