To address this critical medical need, the HYLOMORPH team has developed a unique surgical membrane that optimizes the interface between implants and human tissue. Preparation of the membrane consists of a patented biotech process, in which a non-pathogenic bacteria is cultured in combination with micro-engineered silicone surfaces to produce thin films of nano-cellulose, featuring a finely controlled surface topography. In pre-clinical studies conducted by the team, micro-structured biosynthesized cellulose membranes led to an 80% reduction in fibrotic tissue formation at three months after surgery. 

Based on these promising results, the team is now working in close collaboration with the German Heart Institute Berlin (Deutsches Herzzentrum Berlin, DHZB) and the University Hospital Zurich to prepare for the first-in-man application of cellulose membranes on implantable loop recorders (electrocardiographic monitoring devices). If the results are confirmed in humans, micro-structured biosynthesized cellulose membranes could be the first anti-fibrotic solution for medical implants for the prevention of associated surgical complications.

The HYLOMORPH project was started at Wyss Zurich as a collaboration (“HeartOne”) with the Zurich Heart, a research initiative of Hochschulmedizin Zürich that aims at revolutionizing VAD technologies based on a variety of novel approaches.

Download HYLOMORPH fact sheet

PROJECT PARTNERS

University Hospital Zurich
Deutsches Herzzentrum Berlin