Together with its project partners, the NMI can already report initial successes in the PolyKARD project, specifically the synthesis and printing of elastic photourethane resins. The PolyKARD project (short for synthesis of a biomimetic pericardial polymer for cardiac applications) is based on the goal of creating artificial pericardial tissue using 3D printing. The major challenge is that the elastic tissue in particular - or its replacement - must retain its qualities over years of use in order to guarantee full functionality.
The NMI contributes its expertise in two areas: Toxicity testing and the processing of polymers. On the one hand, the NMI investigates the in vitro cytotoxicity of newly synthesised polymers, and on the other hand, the materials are subjected to electrospinning, which leads to porous structures. These structures are of great advantage for the use of artificial organs because they can more easily grow together with the patient's own tissue.
By the end of the project - in February 2020 - the production of the implants is expected to have progressed to the first clinical studies. In contrast to medical products, which are already printed in three dimensions, the pericardial tissue is a medical product of the highest class, class III.