Objectives / Aims

The main objective of the ESPOIR project is the translation of innovative regenerative therapy, namely the decellularized homograft heart valve (DHV), into widespread clinical use. To achieve this goal, the ESPOIR consortium will:

  1. evaluate DHV for pulmonary valve replacement rates in direct comparison to current heart valve substitutes, such as cryopreserved homografts and xenografts, within a large prospective multicentre trial at 8 leading European Centres for Congenital Cardiothoracic Surgery. At least 200 patients are needed for robust statistical analysis regarding re-operation and re-intervention rates, hemodynamic performance, growth potential and long term durability. To obtain long term results of DHV, long term follow up structures for patients have to be implemented in the course of the ESPOIR project.

  2. establish sustained structures for European-wide homograft procurement with special emphasis on small homograft sizes, thereby facilitating increased definitive primary repair in congenital heart defects.

  3. disseminate the results of ESPOIR to the scientific community, patient organisations and political stakeholders.

  4. implement exploitation structures, e.g. partnership models of the decellularization technique for local, national or European homograft banks.