Calcific aortic valve disease is the most common and life threatening form of valvular heart disease, characterized by stenosis and regurgitation, which is currently treated at the symptomatic end-stages via open-heart surgical replacement of the diseased valve with, typically, either a xenograft tissue valve or a pyrolytic carbon mechanical heart valve. These options offer the clinician a choice between structural valve deterioration and chronic anticoagulant therapy, respectively, effectively replacing one disease with another. Polymeric prosthetic heart valves (PHV) offer the promise of reducing or eliminating these complications, and they may be better suited for the new transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure, which currently utilizes tissue valves. New evidence indicates that the latter may incur damage during implantation. Polymer PHVs may also be incorporated into pulsatile circulatory support devices such as total artificial heart and ventricular assist devices that currently employ mechanical PHVs. Development of polymer PHVs, however, has been slow due to the lack of sufficiently durable and biocompatible polymers. We have designed a new trileaflet polymer PHV for surgical implantation employing a novel polymer—xSIBS—that offers superior bio-stability and durability. The design of this polymer PHV was optimized for reduced stresses, improved hemodynamic performance, and reduced thrombogenicity using our device thrombogenicity emulation (DTE) methodology, the results of which have been published separately. Here we present our new design, prototype fabrication methods, hydrodynamics performance testing, and platelet activation measurements performed in the optimized valve prototype and compare it to the performance of a gold standard tissue valve. The hydrodynamic performance of the two valves was comparable in all measures, with a certain advantage to our valve during regurgitation. There was no significant difference between the platelet activation rates of our polymer valve and the tissue valve, indicating that similar to the latter, its recipients may not require anticoagulation. This work proves the feasibility of our optimized polymer PHV design and brings polymeric valves closer to clinical viability.
In Vitro Evaluation of a Novel Hemodynamically Optimized Trileaflet Polymeric Prosthetic Heart Valve
Sarver Heart Center,
Contributed by the Bioengineering Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering. Manuscript received October 9, 2012; final manuscript received December 3, 2012; accepted manuscript posted December 22, 2012; published online February 7, 2013. Editor: Victor H. Barocas.
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Claiborne, T. E., Sheriff, J., Kuetting, M., Steinseifer, U., Slepian, M. J., and Bluestein, D. (February 7, 2013). "In Vitro Evaluation of a Novel Hemodynamically Optimized Trileaflet Polymeric Prosthetic Heart Valve." ASME. J Biomech Eng. February 2013; 135(2): 021021. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4023235
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