MITRALFIT – Canin Transapical MVR System

by Jacopo Cardinali, System, Product and Service Designer, ISIA Roma

Valentina Militi, System, Product and Service Designer

Dr. Valentino Borghetti, Head of Heart Surgery at S. Maria Hospital in Terni (Umbria)

Dr. of Veterinary Medicine Roberto Falcini, specialized in veterinary heart surgery and founder of

Mitral endiocardiosis is an acquired pathology caused by the myxomatous degeneration of the mitral valve. This pathology is greatly diffused in canine species, especially in the adult-senior stages. It represents 70-80% of cardiac diseases in this species, impacting 100% of senior subjects.

MitraFit is part of a systemic design process of a new therapy method: veterinary MVRT (Transapical Mitral Valve Replacement) – a micro-invasive surgery for mitral valve replacement and the related design of a transapical implantable cardiac prosthesis. The analysis of the therapies currently in use for the treatment of canine cardiac diseases in Italy has highlighted the lack of a definitive solution able to compensate for the degenerative process of the pathology.

For this reason, through a systemic approach, the project proposal was developed creating a new methodological process that can bridge this gap in collaboration with bioengineering technologies and industry 4.0 production processes.



What drives you?

My biggest driver is my curiosity which pushes me to understand how everything that surrounds us works, analyzing each individual part and the links between it that make it whole. It pushes me to investigate whether the links and the relationship between the individual components is really the best one possible, and if not, analyze it, break it down, examine it to understand its limits and its potential so that it can be reconfigured or even redesigned. Innovation is a combination of already existing parts not yet connected between them. So there you have that innovation lies in the relationship, in the connection and not exclusively in the part that without interaction would remain a part and never a whole.

Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
Because we will talk about innovation, specifically about the technological transition that today is focused on the medical field without really scoping into new fields of application within the field itself. The world of PET today is one of the expanding markets, due to a big social and sociological change by which human beings invest daily for the care of their pet. We are talking about technologies that today can help our four-legged friends, but that one day we could use in humans.

What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
I am specialized in design and I am very close to the world of 3D (3D Printing, 3D
Scanning, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, etc.), strongly believing in the development of this technology in the health sector. Most likely the technology is more for the medium-long term as there are still many technological limits – which could be overcome in a short time – but with cultural limits on the subject. Today, it is still complex to be able to have adults interact with highly technological devices, if not supported by specialists and technicians. This for example in the medical field applies to both patients and professionals. We should therefore wait for technologies to stabilize and simultaneously have digital natives use their (digital) skills in a working environment, as well as on a more emotional / empathic level for those who will find themselves using technology passively. Whether this digital revolution is necessary or not? I do not pose myself this question: it would be interesting to investigate it, but probably sterile and clearly irreversible.

What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
I believe the project can arise curiosity across different stakeholders at the conference, due to the uniqueness of the topic and of the application field not yet explored, being the veterinary one. We hope investors who believe in our project may also be interested and ultimately may be driven to invest in our research for the realization of the prototype and the first implant.

What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
The barriers that we could encounter during the development of the project could be of various nature, but in my opinion they can all be resolved with the necessary means. The first barrier is certainly the economic one, because it will not be easy to find investors who believe in the project and who are willing to finance the first operations. The second one is the technological one of materials: we have in fact identified very complex materials that can be used, however said material are still at testing phase in Japan. Therefore we must understand what kind of relationship we wish to establish both for the supply and the testing of the material.

About ISIA Roma Design

ISIA ROMA DESIGN is Italy’s oldest institution in the field of industrial design, being founded in Its aim is to shape future professionals through its unique teaching methodology which has won the renowned “Compasso D’Oro”. Furthermore, ISIA strive on constantly collaborating with industry across an array of sectors.

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