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Tissue-engineered human matrices to repair and regenerate the heart

Wysszurich keyvisual lifematrix


LifeMatrix has developed a unique tissue engineering technology to grow replacement tissue in the laboratory that is compatible with any patient, and that regenerates and grows with the recipient. Such grafts will avoid repeated major surgery and its associated risks.

Project Description

Globally, one out of 100 children is born with a heart defect. In some severe cases, a heart valve or blood vessel functions poorly or may even be missing.

Such congenital heart defects are commonly treated today by replacing the missing or damaged part with synthetic prosthetic materials. Unlike tissue transplanted directly from human donors, such artificial materials are not rejected by the recipient's immune system. However, a major drawback of these materials is that grafts need to be replaced regularly as the child grows, and this requires repeated surgery and lifelong medical treatment.

LifeMatrix has developed a unique tissue engineering technology to grow replacement tissue in the laboratory that will be compatible with every patient and that will regenerate and grow with the recipient. To create this tissue, cells of human origin are first grown in culture on a scaffold in the shape of a heart valve or blood vessel. In a process called decellularization, the cells are then removed, leaving behind a perfectly shaped, biologically neutral human tissue matrix called LifeMatrix. After implantation, the recipient's own cells will repopulate the LifeMatrix, replacing the biodegradable scaffold, and this tissue will continue to grow with the child. Such grafts will avoid repeated major surgery and its associated risks.

Previous work on autologous and personalized cellular tissues (tissue grown from the patient’s own body) is the basis for this next-generation tissue engineering technology, and approval for a pilot clinical study has already been granted by the German authority (PEI). The aim of company is to bring the LifeMatrix technology into the clinic with a first-in-man clinical trial.


Faculty Mentor

Simon P. Hoerstrup

Portrait hoerstrup 560

Faculty Mentor

Viola Vogel

Portrait vogel 560

Partners and Funding

Project Partners:

  • University Hospital Zurich
  • Empa - Materials Science and Technology

Funding Partners:

  • Swiss Higher Education Council
  • Innosuisse
  • Venture Kick
  • VentureLeaders


Wyss Zurich project completion

The project LifeMatrix exits Wyss Zurich and continues operations in its startup company LifeMatrix Technologies AG.

Finalists of the ZKB Pionierpreis Technopark 2022

The jury has chosen LifeMatrix Technologies as one of the three finalists for the ZKB Pionierpreis Technopark 2022.

LifeMatrix participates in the InnoBooster program

Gebert Rüf Foundation will support LifeMatrix as part of the InnoBooster program. Read more.

LifeMatrix receives Venture Kick stage 3 support

The startup obtains the Venture Kick stage 3 support to expand the clinical launch strategy and support regulatory submissions. Read more.

EACTS - Techno-College Innovation Award 2019

Max Emmert of LifeMatrix is awarded for the best presentation the EACTS Techno-Award 2019.

LifeMatrix Technologies AG incorporation

The UZH spin-off LifeMatrix is incorporated under the name LifeMatrix Technologies AG. 

Wyss Zurich admission

LifeMatrix is accepted as full project at Wyss Zurich. 

Founding Team

Max emmert portrait

Maximilian Y. Emmert

Co-Founder & CEO

Rene stenger portrait

René Stenger

Co-Founder & CTO

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