This year again saw two graduates of the Technical University of Munich, Germany (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.

Production of venous valves made of TPU

In his award-winning master’s thesis (“Development of a venous valve prosthesis”), 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 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.

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

The award for the best dissertation went to Dr André Hemmler for his work on predicting abdominal aortic aneurysms.

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.” Vieth joined Dr Birgit Vogel-Heuser in Munich to present the prizes to the winners. 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.