KMUTT’s innovation – an Interatrial Shunt Device from Smart Materials for Heart-failure Treatment – won a gold medal in Germany

KMUTTs innovationan Interatrial Shunt Device from Smart Materials for Heartfailure Treatment won a gold medal in Germany

Presently, an increasing number of Thai people is continuously found to suffer from heart failure (HF). Indeed, the alarming mortality rate of life- threatening HF had been on the rise from 43,272 in 2012 to 54,204 in 2014. Even worse, Thailand is anticipated to witness an upward trend, which will result in a loss of working population and economic burden. HF is a clinical syndrome caused by the ability of the heart to maintain sufficient blood circulation primarily due to coronary heart disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and hypertension.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anak Khantachawana, lecturer at Department of Mechanical Engineering

and Biological Engineering Program, Faculty of Engineering, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) and Head of Smart Materials Research Laboratory (Smart Lab) disclosed that “an Interatrial Shunt Device (IASD) from Smart Materials for Heart-failure Treatment” has been awarded a gold medal at  “The International Trade Fair-Ideas, Inventions and New Products” (iENA 2019), the world-renowned platform of innovators around the globe, which was held recently in Nuremberg, Germany.

KMUTT research team, working hand in hand with Ramathibodi Hospital cardiologists led by Assoc. Prof. Teerapat Yingchoncharoen (MD), have developed a non-surgical device to treat heart failure patients. The concept by the research team is to design an invention to create an opening of the heart wall of the upper chamber to decompress the left atrium which will then lighten the heart workload. Consequently, the heart of patients can pump the blood more effectively and their quality of life can be improved. The invention – Atrial Flow Regulator (AFR) or IASD is fabricated from a shape memory alloy (SMA), a mix of nickel and titanium (NiTi). As this unique alloy exhibits the shape memory effect and superelasticity, it can be placed via a small catheter which immensely reduces the risk and complications from a major operation. Due to this minimally invasive procedure, HF patients can quickly recover from the treatment, unlike a standard thoracotomy. The winning invention is a product of over 2-year- cooperation between KMUT and Ramathibodi Hospital team.


Officially established in 2006, the biological engineering program of KMUTT, is a graduate program that offers masters degrees in engineering (M.Eng.), and science (M.S.), and doctoral degrees (Ph.D.) in biological engineering. Having strong collaborations with several leading medical institutes in Thailand and overseas countries, the program has a central tenet to produce high quality graduates with integrated knowledge of engineering and life sciences in order to vigorously tackle challenges in healthcare industry through research and innovation. Aimed at producing medical devices to replace costly imports, Smart Lab has ceaselessly earned numerous innovation awards from both local and international stages up until present.

For more information about the program, please visit