New research coming out of UBC's Okanagan campus may take the current 'gold standard' for heart valves to a new level of reliability.
A team of researchers at UBCO's Heart Valve Performance Lab (HVPL) has developed a way to improve overall blood flow through the valves, so the design of mechanical heart valves will more closely match the real thing.
"Despite more than 40 years of research, we are still chasing the goal of creating mechanical heart valves that perform consistently and seamlessly inside the human body," explains Dr. Hadi Mohammadi, an associate professor at the School of Engineering and lead researcher for the HVPL. "The way blood travels through the body is very unique to a person's physiology, so a 'one-size fits all' valve has always been a real challenge."
Mohammadi, along with doctoral student Arpin Bhullar, has developed an innovative mechanical bileaflet that enables the mechanical heart valve to function just like the real thing. A bileaflet valve -- two semicircular leaflets that pivot on hinges -- is a mechanical gateway that allows consistent blood-flow and ensures the flow is in one direction.ù
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