Development of a Polyurethane Heart Valve Conduit
However, homografts and other biological valve present a considerable diminished durability (via calcification, shrinkage). Moreover, small diameter homografts specialised for infants and children are hardly available.
A novel approach is the use of bovine jugular vein valved conduits which are available in small diameters but often rapidly show narrowing and/ or dilation due to high pressure in the pulmonary artery.
Mechanical heart valves are known to have in adults a long durability, but demand a permanent anticoagulation therapy (risks of thromboemboli or bleeding) and are not available in small sizes. A common disadvantage to all those valve prostheses is their disability to grow.
Based on our positive experience with polymeric heart valves, we intend to integrate in a polyurethane vascular graft three valve leaflets (also made of polyurethane).
Summarizing, the goal of the project is the systemic construction and development of a valved conduit for the surgical reconstruction of the RVOT which:
- posses optimised flow properties (unloading of the right ventricle, better durability, lower thrombogenicity)
- doesn’t need a continuous anticoagulation treatment (prevention of thromboemboli, bleeding)
- exhibits a higher durability (less surgeries)
- is steadily stands an increase of the pulmonary valvular pressure (permanently intact valve function)
- is easily available in small diameters (starting from 10mm) (optimal availability)
- is applicable for a wide range of patients.
Development of a valved conduit made of biocompatible polycarbonaturethan, followed by in vitro and in vivo tests.
In order to achieve an optimal design, extensive constructive studies as well as numerical calculations are needed. Then, the results are validated through comparison with in vitro tests. The practical verification of the conduit's function is finally processed in a calf.