Award-winning: Arburg Prizes for TUM graduates

This year again saw two graduates of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) awarded the Arburg Prize for outstanding theses in the field of plastics and medical technology: Dr André Hemmler for the best dissertation and Dario Pasquale Arcuti for the best master’s thesis. In both cases, the topic was the use of medical prostheses. The awards were presented by Prof Birgit Vogel-Heuser, holder of the Chair in Automation and Information Systems at the Technical University of Munich, and Arburg Training Director Michael Vieth.

The Arburg Prize 2021 for the best master’s thesis was presented to Dario Pasquale Arcuti (left) by Arburg Training Director Michael Vieth.
The Arburg Prize 2021 for the best master’s thesis was presented to Dario Pasquale Arcuti (left) by Arburg Training Director Michael Vieth.

Since 2016, Arburg has been working with the Technical University of Munich to honour two graduates each year for their outstanding dissertation or master’s thesis. The candidates are nominated by professors from the faculties of plastics technology, medical technology, and related scientific fields. “The aim of the Arburg Prize is to further advance research in plastics and medical technology”, said Michael Vieth. “I am always impressed by the exciting topics and pioneering research results.” Mr Vieth joined Dr Birgit Vogel-Heuser in Munich to present the Arburg prizes to winners Dr André Hemmler and Dario Pasquale Arcuti. Due to coronavirus, the award ceremony did not take place as usual as part of the open day of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at TUM, but in a small, personal setting.


Best dissertation: Predicting abdominal aortic aneurysms

In his paper, Dr André Hemmler developed numerical methods and simulation models to predict the outcome of endovascular treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms. He validated these models with the aid of patient-specific data by comparing the simulation results qualitatively and quantitatively with real postoperative CT data. Based on the validated methods and models, he gave specific examples of how they can be applied in everyday clinical practice. These applications include the predictive estimation of the probability of complications based on mechanical and geometric parameters. The newly developed models also make the process of selecting a stent graft from the portfolio of commercially available stent prosthesis systems more objective and efficient, and enable the optimal stent graft diameter for the individual patient to be selected, something which is otherwise difficult to assess. In addition, a numerical proof of concept demonstrates the benefit of highly individualised stent grafts in patients with challenging aortic morphologies. “All in all, this paper contains important steps on the way to the use of simulation-based EVAR models in everyday clinical practice”, Dr André Hemmler stated in conclusion.



Best master’s thesis: Development of a venous valve prosthesis

In his master’s thesis, Dario Pasquale Arcuti dealt with the development of a polymer-based venous valve prosthesis. The aim of his paper was to establish a process chain for the production of venous valves from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) by means of electrospinning. Electrospinning is a production method for the manufacture of continuous fibres into a non-woven material. Dario Pasquale Arcuti developed a computer-assisted model of the venous valve for the creation of the venous valve mould. He also established the process of mould production and

preparation using rapid manufacturing technology. He then evaluated the manufactured valve prototypes from various aspects. Among other things, the fluid dynamic properties of the valve were evaluated and the microstructure investigated. “My master’s thesis provides an initial approach for the development of a venous valve prosthesis at the Chair of Medical Engineering Materials and Implants”, stated Dario Pasquale Arcuti.

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