ERC Proof of Concept

CMD-COAT: an innovative solution for central and peripheral venous prostheses



Professor Patrizio Lancellotti, director of the GIGA Cardiovascular Sciences Laboratory at the University of Liège, has received a €150,000 grant from the European Research Council (ERC Proof of Concept Grant) for the production of a bioactive coating to prevent catheter infections and thrombosis. This technology is based on the PV-COAT project, which aims to improve the safety and durability of artificial heart valve prostheses.

Peripheral and central venous catheters are among the most widely implanted medical devices in contact with blood for short- and long-term clinical applications. Despite the implementation of preventive measures in hospitals, catheters are often subject to infections and thrombotic complications, resulting in longer hospital stays, higher health care costs and even death. Even if heart valve prostheses are subject to the same risks of infection and thrombosis, the consequences are even more dramatic. Prof. Patrizio Lancellotti, researcher at the GIGA Cardiovascular Sciences lab of the University of Liège and cardiologist at the University Hospital of Liège (CHU), has been working for many years on the development of prosthetic heart valves coated with a polymer that improve the safety and durability of artificial heart valves that alter over time or are subject to bacterial infections, or are the basis for thrombotic complications.

Supported by the European Research Council during the implementation of the PV-COAT study project   in 2015, Professor Lancellotti has just obtained a second European funding (ERC Proof of Concept) for the production of the product developed under his first funding. Called CMD-COAT (Bioactive coating to prevent catheter infection and thrombosis) and funded up to €150,000, the project aims to provide an innovative and rapid solution to this major medical, economic and societal need. "The solution comes from our patented Coatigel technology, explains Professor Lancellotti. This consists in grafting a polymer on the surface of the catheters that combines non-stick, antimicrobial and antithrombotic properties that will guarantee longer clinical performance than currently available catheters." This new technology could be adapted to all types of implantable devices.

The project also provides the establishment of partnerships with stakeholaders of this specific market to adapt the technology to manufacturing constraints. CMD-COAT should also result in the creation of a spin-off that will have exclusive commercial exploitation rights for Coatigel. "The presence of several major catheter manufacturers in Belgium is a major asset that should enable us to achieve great commercial success," concluded the researcher. »

About Patrizio Lancellotti

Patrizio Lancellotti is a professor at the University of Liège and, since October 2017, head of the cardiology department of the University Hospital of Liège, CHU Sart Tilman. He is the current President of the Belgian Society of Cardiology. His main research interests are in heart valve disease and imaging to elucidate the mechanisms behind the progression of the disease. Patrizio Lancellotti made headlines in February 2018 for implanting the world's smallest pace-maker in the heart of a patient, weighing only 2 grams, compared to 24 grams of a traditional pacemaker. A passionate cardiologist, he combines clinical work and research to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic methods with the ultimate goal of improving patients' lives.

ERC Proof of Concept

ERC Grants are major instruments deployed by the European Research Council to fund research projects in Europe. The procedure, which is extremely selective, selects only the best researchers and very high-level research projects, combining boldness and competence to tackle new research avenues that, if successful, could substantially enrich knowledge.

There are 5 types of grants: Starting Grants, Consolidator Grants, Advanced Grants, Synergy Grants and Proof of Concept

The ERC Proof of Concept call is aimed at researchers who have been awarded an ERC grant (Starting, Consolidator, Advanced or Synergy Grant) and aims to promote the results of their research and highlight the innovation potential of an idea resulting from their ERC project.

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