Valvular heart disease affects more than 100 million people worldwide and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. There are two common types of surgical prosthetic heart valves: Mechanical Heart Valve (MHV) or the Biologically-inspired and derived valve (BHV). Valve replacement is the main cause of abnormal hemodynamics resulting in high wall shear stress on the device surface and subsequent platelet activation and thrombosis initiation as well as low shear zones where clots accumulate. Thus, MHVs require life-long anticoagulant therapy while BHVs do not require life-long anticoagulant therapy thanks to better hemodynamics performance but deteriorate in 10–15 years because of the high stress load found in humans. The new technology is a device designed to control the hemodynamics by redirecting blood flow to areas where the flow velocity is low/stagnant or away from areas with high shear may prevent platelet activation and clot buildup.
- Does not require additional medication and may prolong the life of the patient as well as the implant itself thus reducing the risk of revision surgery
- This approach has the potential to completely change the local flow field around the implant, improving the overall hemodynamic conditions while reducing the stress on the surrounding tissue
- Has the ability to improve existing devices as well as guiding the design of future implants
Applications and Opportunities
- New heart valves and other implantable vascular devices
- May be used not only to prevent thrombosis but also for harvesting energy in the operation of internal devices such as active tissue gripers to prevent slip (a common issue with implanted devices)