Design of Prosthetic Heart Valve and Application of Additive Manufacturing

Design of Prosthetic Heart Valve and Application of Additive Manufacturing

Dheeman Bhuyan (National Institute of Technology Meghalaya, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9167-2.ch006


Heart valve prostheses are well known and can be classified in two major types or categories: biological and mechanical. Biological valves (i.e., Homografts and Heterografts) make use of animal tissue as the valving mechanism whereas mechanical valves make use of balls, disks, and other mechanical valving mechanism. Mechanical valves carry considerable risk and require lifelong medication. The design of these valves is usually done on a “one size fits all” basis, with only the diameter changing depending on the model being produced. The author seeks to present an application of additive manufacturing in the design process for mechanical valves. This is expected to provide patients with customized prostheses to match their physiology and reduce the risk associated with the implantation.
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Four heart valves, two on either side of the heart, ensure that each muscle contraction produces efficient, unidirectional flow. On the right side of the heart, the tricuspid and pulmonary valves regulate the flow of blood that is returned from the body to the lungs for oxygenation, whereas on the left side, the mitral and aortic valves control the flow of oxygenated blood to the body (Hillis et al., 1995).

One of the main afflictions of the cardiovascular system is heart valve disease, which is generally caused by diseases such as rheumatic fever congenital birth defects or ageing. In the Indian context, rheumatic diseases are the most common factor leading to valvular disease. Such heart valve disease compromises the functionality of the valve by restricting the motion of the valve leaflets or by damaging its supporting structure (Dasi et al., 2009). This leads to either valve stenosis (calcification of the leaflets associated with narrowing of the valve, resulting in greater resistance to blood flow and a greater cross – valvular pressure drop) or regurgitation (failure of the valve to close completely), both eventually leading to valve failure (Dasi et al., 2009).

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