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Promising new heart valve developed

Wednesday July 1st 2020

A new type of replacement heart valve could free patients from needing to take long-term medication, British developers say.

The valve is made from a polymer and allows for a longer life span than current artificial valves, according to scientists at the universities of Bristol and Cambridge, in the UK.

They explain that it “combines excellent durability with biocompatibility, addressing the limitations of current biological and mechanical artificial valves”.

The manufacturing technique, in which the valve is moulded from a special co-polymer, is straightforward and reduces costs, they add.

Successful testing on animals has been carried out at the University of Bristol.

Professor Geoff Moggridge, of the University of Cambridge, said: “These impressive results show the PoliValve is a promising alternative for valve replacement surgery.

“While further testing is needed, we think it could make a major difference to the hundreds of thousands of patients who get valve replacement surgery every year.”

A description of the new valve was published recently in Biomaterials Science.

The team says that longer term testing is already being planned, before bringing this new treatment to patients.

Professor Sir Nilesh Samani of the British Heart Foundation commented: “The polymer valve combines the benefits of both metallic or tissue valve replacements - it is durable and would not require the need for blood thinning drugs.

“While further testing is needed before this valve can be used in patients, this is a promising development, and the British Heart Foundation is pleased to have supported this research.”

Moggridge, G. et al. Design, Development, Testing at ISO standards and in-vivo feasibility study of a novel Polymeric Heart Valve Prosthesis. Biomaterials Science 17 June 2020 doi: 10.1039/D0BM00412J

https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2020/bm/d0bm00412j#!divAbstract

Tags: Heart Health | Pharmaceuticals | Transplant | UK News

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