Technology description

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the single largest cause of death worldwide and is commonly associated with myocardial infarction (MI). According to the WHO, 17.3 million deaths in 2008 were attributable to CVD, with 7.3 million (42% of all cardiovascular deaths) being the result of a MI. Every year CVD causes over 4 million deaths in Europe. Overall CVD is estimated to cost the EU economy almost €196 billion a year. Current therapy for CVD is based on drugs, coronary artery bypass graft and angioplasty procedures. However, such therapies do not restore the functionality of damaged myocardial tissue. In addition, while use of thrombolytics and balloon angioplasty to rapidly reperfuse heart tissue with oxygen has to date greatly reduced morbidity and mortality, paradoxically, about 50 per cent of the damage to heart tissue following MI is a result of re-oxygenation (reperfusion injury). 
The rationale of this technology is to fix the problem by putting two actions together. IMPAVID is an in vivo myocardial tissue engineering technology able to simultaneously provide:

  1. in situ regeneration using cardiac patch implantation and activation of endogenous stem cells
  2. myocardium protection from reperfusion injury using cardioprotective small molecules 

The in vivo approach, which IMPAVID pursues, poses the most ambitious challenges, but is also the most attractive option for the global market.

  • New therapy for cardiac tissue regeneration
  • Localized cardioprotective drug delivery system
  • Intelligent scaffold for tissue repair after myocardial infarction
  • Nanotechnology for in situ control of stem cell niche 
Key advantages

The biomedical industry values the absence of an in vitro culture phase as highly advantageous for the following reasons:

  • use of materials independent on the individuality of each patient
  • immediate applicability of the device without delays due to cell culturing (the only opportunity to address the acute phase)
  • higher product transportability and storage as compared with cellularized scaffolds
  • complete feasibility within industrial facilities
Filing date and application number

Filing date: 09/01/2013

Application number: TO2013A000014



  • Università degli Studi di Torino
  • Università di Pisa