The European Commission will develop less invasive, less expensive, and safer devices to treat conditions such as varicose veins and abdominal aortic aneurysms under the Heart-e-Gel project.
The new devices will be based on electroactive polymers, which can change size and shape when electrically activated, and thus will be capable of closing, filling and sealing vessels and cavities.
In cases where external vessel surgery is required, the devices will be able to facilitate alternative and less invasive procedures.
In addition, the devices will be able to be used in combination with stents and endografts, to achieve effective and longer lasting treatments.
The three-year research project, funded under the FP7 Specific Programme, will involve leading material and microelectronics scientists, surgeons and medical device companies in collaboration with European partners..
The project began initiated in September 2010 and will be coordinated by the Tyndall National Institute and University College Cork in Ireland.