A geometrically adaptable heart valve replacement

Sophie C. Hofferberth, Mossab Y. Saeed, Lara Tomholt, Matheus C. Fernandes, Christopher J. Payne, Karl Price, Gerald R. Marx, Jesse J. Esch, David W. Brown, Jonathan Brown, Peter E. Hammer, Richard W. Bianco, James C. Weaver, Elazer R. Edelman, Pedro J. Del Nido

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Congenital heart valve disease has life-threatening consequences that warrant early valve replacement; however, the development of a growth-accommodating prosthetic valve has remained elusive. Thousands of children continue to face multiple high-risk open-heart operations to replace valves that they have outgrown. Here, we demonstrate a biomimetic prosthetic valve that is geometrically adaptable to accommodate somatic growth and structural asymmetries within the heart. Inspired by the human venous valve, whose geometry is optimized to preserve functionality across a wide range of constantly varying volume loads and diameters, our balloon-expandable synthetic bileaflet valve analog exhibits similar adaptability to dimensional and shape changes. Benchtop and acute in vivo experiments validated design functionality, and in vivo survival studies in growing sheep demonstrated that mechanical valve expansion accommodated growth. As illustrated in this work, dynamic size adaptability with preservation of unidirectional flow in prosthetic valves thus offers a paradigm shift in the treatment of heart valve disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereaay4006
JournalScience Translational Medicine
Issue number531
StatePublished - Feb 19 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
S.C.H. was supported by a NIH-NRSA postdoctoral fellowship grant (1F32HL138993-01) and an Early Career Award from the Thrasher Research Fund. This project was supported by the Oakwood Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 The Authors, some rights reserved.


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