Cardiac surgery

Project Image:
Title of the project:
Cardiac surgery
Development of a processable, antimicrobial holding device for use in open heart surgery
Development of detection standards for the evaluation of silver-doped DLC coatings
Project leader:
Allgemeine Adresse Info
Project funding:
  • Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie
Project management:
  • Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen Projekt GmbH
Funding reference number:

A reusable, flexible and safely positionable instrument holder for use in cardiology is to be developed. The 25 to 45 semicircular chain links of the holder are provided with an antimicrobial DLC surface coating (DLC: diamond-like carbon), which is highly wear-resistant and safe to clean. Within the framework of the project work, detection standards for the evaluation of silver-doped DLC coatings are also being developed. In addition to the NMI, Vitalitec International Medizintechnik GmbH, PV TECH Plasma and Vakuum Technologie GmbH are also involved.


The rapidly increasing demands placed on medical products in recent years pose new challenges to the functionality of materials and coatings. Increasing miniaturization and the use of complex instruments lead to high load densities and thus stresses on the material systems. The functional surfaces currently used do not usually meet the new requirements. As a result, the required functionality is only inadequately fulfilled or short service lives have to be accepted. Requirements for the various functional surfaces are, for example, to be mentioned:
- Surface hardness
- resistance to corrosion
- gliding properties
- non-stick properties
- good cleaning behaviour
- decorative look
- Biocompatibility or efficacy (antibacterial surface properties)

In open-heart surgery, the sterility requirements for instruments are particularly high, and disposable instruments are often used in this area in particular. This is the case both with instruments that come into direct contact with the patient and with auxiliary equipment such as holders, which results in additional costs and many waste products.
The demands on holders are high, as they must be very quick to operate, flexible and securely positionable in order to make the doctor's work easier. Typical constructions consisting of rods and clamps do not meet these requirements, especially in cardiology. However, newer mounting instruments, which enable rapid positioning, can only be used as disposable instruments, as they cannot be reliably cleaned and there would therefore be a risk of infection for the patient.
The aim of this funding project is therefore to develop a reusable, flexible and safely positionable instrument holder for use in cardiology. For this purpose, the holder is to be constructed from 25 to 45 semicircular chain links, the surface of which is to be specifically functionalised by means of a DLC coating to be developed in order to obtain a surface with high wear resistance, safe cleanability and antibacterial effectiveness.
The development should contribute to replacing disposable products, which are questionable from an economic and ecological point of view, with reusable instruments. This should also make an important contribution to environmental protection.

Project partners:
  • PV TECH Plasma und Vakuum Technologie GmbH
  • Vitalitec International Medizintechnik GmbH