Research project

REPAIR Restoring cardiac mechanical function by polymeric artificial muscular tissue (DFM.AD005.319)

Thematic area

Physical sciences and technologies of matter

Project area

Fotonica: dai processi fisici ai componenti e sistemi e relative applicazioni (DFM.AD005)

Structure responsible for the research project

Institute of clinical physiology (IFC)

Other structures collaborating in the research project

Project manager

Phone number: 0554572496


Heart Failure is associated with impairment of cardiac mechanical function. To assist ventricular contractility, left ventricular assist devices have been demonstrated able to reduce mortality in patients, but enormous disadvantages largely limit their long-term use. Our revolutionary idea to solve these clinical challenges is to exploit smart materials to support or restore the cardiac mechanical function. The REPAIR consortium has recently developed a novel liquid crystalline elastomers (LCEs)-based artificial muscle that under external light stimulation is able to enhance cardiac muscle contraction. These results pave the way for the development of a novel generation of cardiac assist devices. We will first develop a mechanical performant and energetically efficient LCE material that, integrated with light sources, will result in fundamental biomimetic contractile units to be structured in a suturable, remote controlled contractile tissue. The LCE contractile tissue will be exploited to develop a new generation of cardiac assist devices and test the effects of their acute implantation in large mammals and human explanted hearts.

Start date of activity



Health sciences, Materials engineering, Medical biotechnology

Last update: 30/11/2023