Okanagan UBC researchers have created the first ever nanocomposit heart valve that can be installed without the need to open a boot.
By using a newly developed technique, the researchers were able to build a durable valve that enables the heart to adjust faster and more seamlessly.
Assistant Professor Hadi Mohammadi runs the Heart Valve Performance Laboratory through the UBC School of Engineering. A leading author on the study, it is said that the newly developed valve is an example of a transgatheter heart valve, a promising new branch of cardiology.
These valves are unique because they can be placed in a patient through small cuts rather than opening the patient's chest – a procedure that is usually safer and much less intrusive, according to a press release from UBCO. .
“Existing transgathetic heart valves are made from animal tissues, usually the pericardium membrane of a cow's heart, and have had moderate success so far,” he said. “The problem is that they face significant implantation risks and can lead to coronary obstruction and acute renal injuries.” T
The new valve solves that problem by using nanogomposites that originate naturally – material is assembled with a variety of very small components – including gels, vinyl and cellulose. The combination of new material with the unobtrusive nature of cross-catheter heart valves makes this new design very promising to use with high-risk patients, according to Mohammadi.
“Not only is the material important but the design and construction of our valve means that it reduces valve stress by as much as 40 per cent compared to currently available valves. , ”Said Dylan Goode, a graduate researcher at the HVPL. “It is uniquely manufactured in one continuous form, so we gain strength and flexibility to withstand the circulatory complications that can arise from transplantation.” T
Working with researchers from Kelowna General Hospital and Western University, the valve will now be tested vigorously to perfect its composition and design of material. The tests will include human heart simulators and major in-vivo animal studies. If successful, the valve will then go on to clinical patient tests, the statement says.
“This has the potential to become a new standard instead of the renewal of heart valves and to provide a safer, long-term solution for many patients.” T
The new design was highlighted in a paper published this month in the Journal of Engineering in Medicine with financial support from the Canadian Science and Engineering Research Council.