Latest developments aim on a more gentle implantation of the prostheses. They are interventionally applied insted of surgically implanted in the open chest. Therefore, they are integrated into a stent, folded and loaded into an application catheter. The catheter is then shifted through a vessel to the implant position under image guidance. There the valve is realeased, unfolded and anchored, mostly by radial forces only. These valve types are often referred to as "percutaneous valves", as only a small incision through the skin (percutaneous) is needed to access the guiding blood vessel.
As the valves need to be folded, only flexible types are suited for percutaneous valves. In one of its valve projects the CardioVascular Engineering group follows the target to develop a polymer valve modeled on the biomechanical valves as a percutaneous valve. In a similar fashion the polymer valve technology is used to design a venous valve.
In addition, a polymeric valved conduit is developed for reconstruction of the right ventricular outflow tract of new borns.