Hybrid Heart, the European project involving The BioRobotics Institute of Sant’Anna School, is one of four finalists out of 75 initial submissions that will compete in the Big Beat Challenge to win a 30 million GBP award to explore and develop a radical new approach to treat cardiovascular diseases. With the World Health Organization (WHO) forecasting an increase in cardiovascular deaths worldwide, the Big Beat Challenge is a global initiative to encourage researchers and inspire transformational solutions to tackle the world’s biggest killer. As the next step, the Hybrid Heart team has to submit a full application in June 2020. The winner of the prestigious award will be announced by the end of 2020.
The BioRobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna participates in the project through the research team coordinated by Matteo Cianchetti.
Hybrid Heart - Introducing a soft robotic heart
The Hybrid Heart project proposes a radical new concept for treating heart failure by replacing the diseased heart with a bioinspired and completely soft robotic heart, with in situ tissue-engineered inner lining (making it a hybrid heart), which can be wirelessly charged. The team, led by the Dutch cardiothoracic surgeon professor Jolanda Kluin (AMC, Amsterdam), roboticist/physicist dr. Bas Overvelde (AMOLF, Amsterdam) and tissue-engineer professor Carlijn Bouten (TU/E, Eindhoven), strongly believes that Hybrid Heart can fully restore natural blood flow, can prevent limitations and complications inherent to current heart failure treatment, and will allow patients to move freely without a percutaneous driveline.
"Hybrid Heart – explains Matteo Cianchetti - is the halfway point. Our research team is responsible for the development of the artificial heart thanks to our expertise in biomimetic and soft robotics. Funding from the British Heart Foundation would have the opportunity to continue the trial which needs further steps”.