Cardiovascular Moonshot (RegMed XB)

The Cardiovascular Moonshot of RegMed XB is a comprehensive program based on the concept of developing personalized cardiac regenerative therapies tailored to individual patients. The researchers aim to enhance the body's inherent regenerative capacity, such as improving contractility and perfusion of the heart muscle, repairing or replacing coronary arteries and heart valves. Importantly, researchers will gain insights into optimizing heart treatment and potentially preventing certain cardiovascular diseases in patients.

The Research
One approach of the Cardiovascular Moonshotis is to restore the heart function outside of the body (ex vivo). The advantage of this method is that we can solely treat the heart and assess cardiac function during treatment, while leaving all other tissues in the body as they are. Initially, this could be an option to restore donor hearts for transplant recipients. After restoring the heart, it will be re-implanted. This strategy also facilitates exploration of gene therapy for hereditary diseases. Along this process, the researchers learn how to treat the heart better and eventually also aim to deduce how to treat the heart inside a patient.

The Cardiovascular Moonshot of RegMed XB is the most recent addition to the Moonshot initiatives. To date, it has completed a hypothermic pilot study that has enhanced researchers' expertise in perfusion models. Currently, this model is undergoing further refinement for optimal heart preservation. Additionally, ongoing histopathological analysis of heart valves aims to elucidate how these valves remodel in response to altered fluid dynamics within the ex vivo heart platform.

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Prof. Dr. P. Doevendans (Pieter)

Principal investigators

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Clinical staff in hospital wards traditionally collect vital signs periodically to assess a patient's cardiorespiratory status, often with intervals of 6 to 10 hours. This method, known as spot-checking, has limitations due to its infrequent nature and dependence on contact sensors, which can be uncomfortable for patients, particularly during sleep. The Focus Recent advancements demonstrate that vital signs like heart rate, respiration rate, blood oxygen saturation, and temperature can be monitored remotely using camera-based methods, which are less invasive compared to contact sensors. This innovation could significantly enhance patient comfort by enabling continuous monitoring without the need for frequent interventions by clinical staff. Continuous monitoring also allows for trend analysis of vital signs, offering a comprehensive assessment of a patient's cardiorespiratory condition. Additionally, camera-based methods enable video context analysis, such as detecting patient movements or identifying pain through facial expression analysis. This project explores the use of continuous video monitoring as an unobtrusive method to predict and monitor patient deterioration or adverse events. The Research Initially, the feasibility and reliability of camera-based continuous monitoring will be evaluated using data from consenting patients in the ICU at Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven and healthy volunteers. Subsequently, robust technologies will be developed to automatically detect signs of patient deterioration by generating automated early warning scores based on measured vital signs. Throughout the project, feedback from clinical staff and patient experiences will inform the design and implementation of camera-based technologies and early warning systems.
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