TEH-TUBE is an international collaborative research and development project between seven European organisations and funded via the EU's FP7 scheme, focused on addressing the limitations in current treatment options for congenital heart defects in children and young adults.
Approximately 42% of infants' mortality around the world is related to congenital heart defects (CHDs) and with a diagnoses prevalence of 8-12 per 1000 births.
Over one-third of all congenital heart defects require surgical reconstruction of the area of the heart known as the right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT) in order to allow for the heart to function in an optimal manner. However, this procedure currently relies on the application of materials that are unable to grow along with the individual, which is of particular concern considering the prevalence of treatment in the young. This restriction means that patients must undergo multiple reoperations with an associated risk of mortality and long-term health concerns.
The TEH-TUBE project seeks to provide a novel biomaterial for use in the treatment of congenital heart abnormalities in children and young adults which will grow along with the patient. Through an innovative application of tissue engineering and bioabsorbable materials, TEH-TUBE seeks to decrease the need for repeated reoperative surgeries in vulnerable individuals and their associated impact, ultimately providing them with a greater quality of life beyond their illness.