Funded by BFS
The objective of this project is the development of a minimally-invasive implantable prosthesis and the associated laparoscopic applicator in order to treat the reflux disease. This novel technique will become an alternative to the standard surgical reflux treatments, which are complicated and time consuming.
The idea is to implant a ring shaped prothesis around the cardia instead of creating a wrap. The implant enfolds the esophagus at the gastroesophageal junction (see figure). Intended is a diameter reduction of the esophagus in such way that the esophageal sphincter’s functionality is recovered.
The implant has to be deployable under the common minimally-invasive conditions. That includes the design of an appropriate locking mechanism and an applicator to enable a stretched transport to the surgical field and bend it around at its final destination. The implant consists out of a special compound of polymers in a foamed internal structure that accelerates cell adhesion and a smooth face outwards to prevent intergrowth with surrounding tissue and organs.
The biocompatibility and the efficiency to suppress the reflux of the innovative implant are demonstrated and verified in vivo. Further, the long term stability has to be ensured. Additionally, an adequate technology to manufacture the implant industrially is evaluated.