Dr hab. Tomasz Mroczek, Prof. UJ, a cardiac surgeon from the University Children’s Hospital, took second place in the Techno-College Innovation Award 2018 competition. The results were announced during the 32nd session of the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery.
The aim of the competition is to award surgeons, engineers and scientists whose work contributes to the development of cardiac and thoracic surgery and has the potential for practical application. These contributions may be patents, new products, or innovative techniques that improve current methods of treatment.
Dr hab. Tomasz Mroczek, Prof. UJ, deputy head of the Children’s University Hospital Department of Cardiac Surgery, was one of five finalists invited to deliver a presentation during the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery meeting in Milan.
The awarded pilot scheme led by Dr hab. Mroczek was initiated in August 2016. Since then, the Kraków surgeon has implanted 12 biodegradable conduits (Xeltis) in Europe and Asia, while 7 more patients have received the same treatment in the USA. The first patient treated using the procedure was a 2.5 year old boy with tricuspid atresia.
The innovativeness of the treatment lies in the use of a novel polymer-based material that will naturally degrade after a set period of time. The method involves employing the organism’s regenerative capabilities to replace a synthetic graft with its own tissue.
Up until now, cardiac surgeons have used biological material from human or animal donors, which proved restrictive due to tissue degeneration, calcification, necessity of exchange, lack of growth potential, and possibility of infection. Another problem is the limited availability of such grafts, called homografts and xenografts.