Season's Greetings and Happy New Year 2024!
As the year draws to a close, we want to take a moment to express our heartfelt gratitude for the trust and support you have shown us throughout 2023. Your partnership has been invaluable, and it has been a privilege to work together to achieve your goals.
As we welcome 2024, we are filled with optimism and excitement for what the future holds. Our commitment to providing you with exceptional service and innovative solutions remains stronger than ever.
May this holiday season bring you joy, peace, and prosperity. We look forward to continuing our journey together in the New Year and beyond.
Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season and a spectacular 2024!
The LifeTec Group Team
BioSimulation Innovations and Achievements
LifeTec Group is focused on helping device developers in their quest to turn their good ideas into concepts that are working, by providing BioSimulation environments where we can truly assess what works and what doesn't in a clinically relevant setting. Besides being engaged in all your exciting projects to assess these new therapies and approaches, we also continually work to improve our BioSimulation systems so that we can keep on supporting your projects going forward, moving along with market needs, and providing you with the best BioSimulation experiences. We're happy to share our main innovations of this year.
Imaging improvements on the Cardiac BioSimulator
In the past year, we have taken some significant steps in improving the ultrasound capabilities of our Cardiac BioSimulator (CBS). Together with experts in the field of echocardiography, we have been working on how to achieve proper, clinically relevant echo views. We've made big gains, especially for the tricuspid valve applications, which have a lot of attention at this time. Feel free to reach out if you're interested in simulating ultrasound-guided cardiac interventions in our beating heart model!
In our Minneapolis lab facility, we also have fluoroscopic imaging available. In the past year, we've started to use this modality extensively and made significant improvements in the imaging of fluoroscopy-guided device interventions in the Cardiac BioSimulator. If you are working on an X-ray-guided therapy and wish to assess if you're ready for an in-vivo trial, we can support you on short notice from Minneapolis!
Portable CBS is on the road!
In our BioSim Lab facilities in Eindhoven or Minneapolis, LifeTec Group helps you assess your device concepts and the procedural steps for a successful implantation. But on many occasions, it can be more beneficial to conduct such studies or training workshops in other locations, and for this reason, we've been working on a more portable solution.
After multiple brainstorming sessions, fruitful discussions with (end)-users, and several design iterations, we’ve launched ‘portable CBS’ systems this year. By downscaling all the components, including all electronic equipment, the CBS as you know is now also available in the more portable version. Being able to be carried as check-in luggage on a plane allows easy traveling with the CBS system which makes it useful for on-site demonstrations, workshops, and training sessions.
The PhysioHeart platform is our most advanced cardiac model, and here we've had successful improvements! This year our focus was on improving the performance of the isolated hearts. Through refining our protocols we've increased our heart revival success rates, prolonged the window for harvesting and transportation of the hearts, but most importantly made big steps in extending the duration of beating heart time from 4 hours to 9 hours! Furthermore, the decline in cardiac performance during beating has almost diminished to a constant performance level from the moment of reactivation. We're very excited and look forward to further improvements next year!
Next to this, we have made progress in electrophysiological measurements in our PhysioHeart model. We have been developing electrode grids that allow measurement of the electrical activity of the heart and can leverage those to assess if pharmacological or device interventions have an impact on the electrophysiology of the ex-vivo living hearts. If you're interested in acute electrical responses to your therapy or early biomarker expressions from pharmacological compounds, feel free to reach out for more information.
We have continued the development of an ex vivo cartilage damage model, inducing an OsteoArthritis-like tissue response in our OsteoChondral Platform. We have used advanced and complex in vivo-like (over-)loading regimes to induce a disease state in the tissue and the first results are very promising. This disease model would be a very valuable tool for assessing the effect of innovative OA therapies and treatments. Feel free to reach out if you'd be interested in more information on this.
Our partners from Erasmus Medical Center deployed the VAscular BIOreactor to study ex vivo culturing of right coronary arteries obtained from slaughterhouse hearts and perform in-culture stent implantation. They demonstrated the feasibility of culturing this type of arteries, which is quite labor-intensive because of the enormous amount of side branches. Moreover, they found that external support of the vessel wall is beneficial to better mimic physiological pressure as well as to minimize dissections upon stent implantation.
Our former colleague Alicia Ruppelt successfully defended her thesis in Italy earlier this quarter, well done Alicia, we are very proud of you! The latest advancements considering the BioLiver platform development are the breathing receptacle the liver can be placed in, next to the relevant additives to keep the liver functional and viable, Alicia succeeded in maintaining liver functionality for almost a full day in the end. This makes our BioLiver Platform even more suitable for pre-clinical research with it being more reliable and capable of longer perfusion times.
This year, LifeTec Group had the privilege of participating in nine esteemed conferences and exhibitions, fostering connections with industry experts, and staying ahead of the latest advancements in our field. These conferences provided us with opportunities to showcase our innovative BioSimulation solutions and engage in inspiring conversations with you.
In addition to our participation in conferences, LifeTec Group also offers a comprehensive suite of services to support your conference exhibition. This year we provided hands-on BioSimulation workshops that engage your attendees and demonstrate the practical applications of our technology. Our team is dedicated to crafting tailored solutions that align with your specific conference goals.
At LifeTec, we are committed to developing groundbreaking science-based technologies that empower you to make significant advancements in the field. We are thrilled to collaborate with our partners, who have achieved remarkable research breakthroughs and published groundbreaking findings through the use of our BioSimulators. We are equally proud of our own team's contributions to scientific literature, and we are pleased to share the publications of 2023 with you. We are eager to continue our journey of innovation and collaboration, striving to bring meaningful solutions to patients.
A small outlook to next year
Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of our company! Starting as HemoLab in 2004 as a subsidiary of the Eindhoven University of Technology, we became independent in 2012 while rebranding to LifeTec Group, and have been involved in the great adventure of mimicking in-vivo scenarios with BioSimulations and serving a great number of teams with innovative interventional ideas!
Next to that, 2024 will be an important year for us as we will apply for CE certification for our portable Cardiac BioSimulator. This opens up even more opportunities for our customers and ourselves to use this platform for R&D and Training purposes.
Furthermore, we will again work on many biosimulator platform innovations (e.g. expanding our capabilities in cardiac electrophysiology, as well as further automation of hemodynamic control in our heart platforms) and improvements (e.g. adding more clinical relevance to our platforms, and gaining a better understanding of blood quality influencers) on our platform technologies to further improve our services. Our bright engineers are full of new ideas and can’t wait to implement them.
To expand our medical imaging capabilities, we will start planning to create a fluoroscopy facility at or close to our Eindhoven facility. This will allow us to offer a simulated cathlab setting for even more realistic studies to bridge bench to animal and animal to patient.
In 2024 we will continue to integrate our BioSimulation activities into Resolution Medical's device development projects. BioSimulation – the LifeTec way – has been very beneficial to many early product concepts, but having concept development and biosimulation combined under one roof gives a further boost to shorten development timelines. In some cases, we have been able to do as many as 4 device iterations in a single day, with a concept device going straight from the development bench into a beating heart simulation and after seeing an opportunity to improve go straight back to the development bench for further adjustments! We will work to equalize our BioSimulation offerings between our Eindhoven and Minneapolis labs while exploring new BioSimulation technologies that suit our target markets.
A word from our CEO
"Looking back at all that we have achieved this year I’m proud of our bright teams in Europe and the USA that have shown their dedication and intrinsic motivation to take BioSimulation to the next level. My gratitude extends to the inspiring and successful collaborations with our valued customers and partners. Our science-based development programs have led to unparalleled improvements and performances of our services and platforms. As a result of a joint effort with one shared goal, patients benefit from life-changing innovations. We are ready for 2024 with our strategy focussed on strengthening our treasured culture even more, expanding our facilities and offering in both our European and USA-based sites, and translating customer needs into improved services and technology. I look forward to continuing our rewarding journey together!
With the Holiday season coming, I wish you joy and valuable moments with family and friends. On behalf of the entire team, a Merry Christmas and a healthy New Year!”
Jurgen de Hart
CEO LifeTec Group