The design and development of a stented tissue mitral and aortic heart valve replacement for human implantation

18 September 2012

A study was conducted into the development of a mitral and aortic heart valve replacement that caters for patients having suffered valve damage due to stenosis or rheumatic fever. The appeal of the valve is that it is constituted from a solid frame housing pericardial tissue leaflets, and allows the patient freedom from post-operative blood-thinning medication. The valve is designed to appeal to patients in developing areas of the world, as it features a clip-in mechanism to secure the valve assembly into the sewing ring, which is stitched in independently of the frame and leaflets. Re-operative valve replacement would then be made possible when the pericardial leaflets began to calcify. Novel aspects of the design added value to the science of heart valve replacements, through the use of sintered chrome cobalt in the valve components, the insights gained into mechanical testing of pericardium, and the patient benefits offered by the complete design. Further work is planned to fatigue test the assembly, undergo animal trials and make the valve available for commercial use.