Simulation platform supports development of medical implants
The Horizon 2020 project SIMCor (In-silico testing and validation of cardiovascular implantable devices), coordinated by ICM, will start on 1 of January 2021. The aim of the project is to create a platform for the testing, development and approval of cardiovascular implants. New methods such as computer simulations and virtual animal models will be used to contribute to even better quality and safety of such implants. The joint project is being funded by the European Union for a total of 7.2 million euros over three years, of which just under 1 million euros will go to Charité.
Implantable medical cardiovascular devices are among the most advanced, widely used and life-sustaining implants. However, their development presents a significant challenge. Computer-based in silico methods for testing and validation - such as virtual animal models or computer models - can help improve the quality of such medical implants, increasing their efficacy and safety while reducing costs and development time. This can ultimately facilitate access to treatments and minimize the need for studies on living organisms.
The collaborative project, which will receive Horizon 2020 funding starting in early 2021, involves 12 partners from eight countries - clinical, academic and industrial.
The SIMCor project, which is now funded, aims to establish a computing platform that will serve as an open resource for collaborative research and development between device manufacturers, medical institutes and regulatory agencies. Along the entire development process - from in silico modeling to virtual animal and clinical studies - device testing will be supported. As an example, these processes are applied to two representative cardiovascular implants: Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implants (TAVI) and Pulmonary Artery Pressure Sensors (PAPS), which will then be used to develop success methods and translate them into standard operating procedures (SOP).
The project will also develop a methodology for creating virtual patient groups - called cohorts - to test new implants with a variety of geometries, pathologically altered conditions, and clinical characteristics relevant to both adults and children. In this way, medical implants will be made useful for young patients in the future. In addition, SIMCor will provide device-specific models to predict the safety, efficacy and usability of medical devices.
The SIMCor collaborative project
The SIMCor collaborative project is funded by the European Commission as a research and innovation measure under Horizon 2020. Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin coordinates the network of 12 partners from clinical centers, universities and industrial companies. Other European partners are Lynkeus in Italy, Biotronik and the Institute of Implant Technology and Biomaterials (IIB) in Germany, the European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN) in France, the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) and Graz University of Technology in Austria, Eindhoven University of Technology and Philips Electronics in the Netherlands, Transilvania University Braşov in Romania, the University College of London in the United Kingdom, and the Virtual Physiological Human Institute for Integrative Biomedical Research (VPH) in Belgium.
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