Novel Design for Replacement Heart Valve Leaflets
Inventors: Peter Hammer
Invention Types: Medical Device
Research Areas: Cardiovascular/Cardiology, Degenerative Disease
Keywords: Medical DeviceFor More Information Contact: Miracco, Amy
Aortic regurgitation (AR) is inadequate closure of the aortic valve resulting in reversal of blood flow into the left ventricle during diastole. This type of defect often requires the replacement of the aortic valve. Artificial heart valves contain valve leaflets made of either natural material or polymers. These leaflets are designed and produced in a particular manner to ensure coaptation (i.e. complete closure) and prevent regurgitation of blood. This invention describes a novel design feature for heart valve leaflets which has the potential to solve a number of problems currently associated with replacement heart valves. Here, a specific arrangement of natural fibers or re-enforcing fibers in artificial leaflets leads to improved mechanical properties of valve and hence significantly improved medical outcomes.
This technology could be applied to the design of both artificial valve leaflets as well as leaflets made of natural materials (e.g. harvested pericardium).
There are several advantages of the design described in the invention over current designs : |
1. The new design leads to increased coaptation height, i.e. the surface of overlap between valve leaflets is larger than in current designs. This improves valve closure and helps prevent regurgitation. In addition, the increased coaptation height allows for growth of the heart due to natural growth of the patient or due to disease. |
2. The new design exhibits tighter closure at the central contact point of all three leaflets in a tri-cuspid valve. At the same time, tensile stress in the leading edge is reduced which improves durability and allows for thinner material to be used. |
3. The new design leads to reduced billowing of the leaflets, hence further reducing the load on the cardiovascular system. |
These advantages will likely lead to improved outcomes in heart valve replacement surgery and will increase the longevity of the valve itself.
Exclusive / Non-exclusive License
IPStatus: Pat. Pend.