The development of a new transcatheter prosthetic mitral valve

Development of an artificial mitral valve for transcatheter implant

Gaetano Burriesci (lead researcher)

University College London

Start date: 01 January 2014 (Duration 3 years)

Dr Gaetano Burriesci and colleagues at University College London have been awarded £180,000 to design and test a new artificial valve for heart patients. Their aim is to develop a prosthetic mitral valve (one of the main heart valves that can be affected in disease) which can be fitted through a wire inserted from the leg, avoiding the need for open-heart surgery. This means that the artificial valve must be delivered through narrow blood vessels and function effectively in human hearts.

The mitral valve ensures that blood does not leak between the two left-side chambers of the heart. Problems with this valve can develop in various types of heart disease, putting the patient at high risk of heart failure. In addition, some patients are unable to undergo major surgery to repair the valve. The technique of transcatheter implantation for aortic valve replacement (known as TAVI) is a pioneering area of non-invasive heart care that offers an option for patients who cannot have open-heart surgery.

At this stage, the researchers will be testing the performance of the artificial valve prototypes in various laboratory instruments that simulate the circulatory conditions in the human body. These findings are needed to progress this promising area of research to the next stage of testing the devices in large animals. This group’s research could one day mean this valve is replaced without the need for open-heart surgery, benefiting more patients.

Project details

Grant amount £182,714
Grant type Project Grant
Start Date 01 January 2014
Duration 3 years
Reference PG/13/78/30400
Status Complete

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