Für den Inhalt der Angaben zeichnet die Projektleitung verantwortlich.
Dieses von der Gebert Rüf Stiftung geförderte Projekt wird von folgenden weiteren Projektpartnern mitgetragen: Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Laboratory of Microsystems 4
Project no: GRS-043/15
Amount of funding: CHF 385'000
Duration: 07.2016 - 07.2019
Area of activity: Pilotprojekte, 1998 - 2018
Dr. Amélie Béduer
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Science et Techniques de l'ingénieur (STI)
BM 3117; Station 17
1015 Lausanne (Schweiz)
- amelie.beduer@epfl. ch
At present, around 2 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year worldwide, 500’000 of whom in Europe. These patients increasingly resort to reconstructive surgeries after tumour resection to regain their natural and healthy physical appearance. Unfortunately, today, the available techniques are either too strenuous, induce a long-term foreign body reaction, require repeated surgeries or do not bring durable results. In addition, a high number of patients are not eligible to one of these techniques and remain in the therapeutic impasse. Covered by health insurances, the reconstructive surgeries performed need to evolve. In particular, minimally invasive surgery could come close to the dream of repairing the human body without a visible trace. Technologically demanding, minimally invasive techniques are quietly revolutionizing modern medicine. Lipofilling is such a minimally invasive surgical technique with rapidly growing application in plastic surgery. By reinjection of the patient’s own fat tissue, it reconstructs small soft tissue volumes in the most physiological way possible. Permanent reconstruction using lipofilling of larger volumes, namely after breast tumour removal, remains however impossible. Persistent volume lipofilling in breast cancer surgery would make a dream come true: Simple, ambulatory and physiological breast reconstruction, restoring bodily look and self-esteem after a devastating diagnosis.
To make this possible for millions of patients, we develop the «AdiPearl therapy». Our innovation is at the convergence of cell therapy, tissue engineering and materials science. We have taken advantage of the most advanced porous biomaterial technology, which is the fruit of several years of our research, to provide an innovative concept: a dynamic biomaterial enabling persistent volume filling.
What is special about the project?
The innovation opportunity of our team and of this project is that we gather inside the same project and from the very early stage, scientists with biology and material science backgrounds, as well as clinical practitioners. This unique configuration allowed us to both acquire a fundamental understanding of the biological phenomenon in tissue reconstruction and to design and engineer a pertinent solution based on a biomaterial, with clinical and business transfer perspective.
We validated the clinical pertinence for this biomaterial-based tissue engineering therapy with plastic and reconstructive surgeons.
We selected raw materials that are currently used in clinical applications closed to our application field. We designed the manufacturing process of the biomaterial to be easily scalable.
We have the first working prototype of the Volumina kit, consisting in a disposable sterile syringe containing the biomaterial ready to be used by the surgeon in the operating theatre using conventional workflows and tools already available.
We showed the full biocompatibility of the biomaterial in vitro and in vivo. We demonstrated that the Volumina prototype performs effectively in tissue testing and in vivo. The biomaterial is perfectly bio-integrated, enables the creation of new tissues and the volume is maintained over at least 12 months. In addition to the support from the Gebert Rüf Stiftung, the project obtained the support from the Foundation for Technological Innovation in 2015 and obtained the PERL prize in 2017 (Prix Entreprendre Region Lausanne).
No publications to date
Persons involved in the project
Last update to this project presentation 03.07.2019