Engineering a New Polymeric Heart Valve Using 3D Printing-TRISKELION

Medicina (Kaunas). 2022 Nov 21;58(11):1695. doi: 10.3390/medicina58111695.

ABSTRACT

Background and Objectives: Developing a prosthetic heart valve that combines the advantageous hemodynamic properties of its biological counterpart with the longevity of mechanical prostheses has been a major challenge for heart valve development. Anatomically inspired artificial polymeric heart valves have the potential to combine these beneficial properties, and innovations in 3D printing have given us the opportunity to rapidly test silicone prototypes of new designs to further the understanding of biophysical properties of artificial heart valves. TRISKELION is a promising prototype that we have developed, tested, and further improved in our institution. Materials and Methods: STL files of our prototypes were designed with FreeCad 0.19.2 and 3D printed with an Agilista 3200W (Keyence, Osaka, Japan) using silicones of Shore hardness 35 or 65. Depending on the valve type, the support structures were printed in AR-M2 plastics. The prototypes were then tested using a hemodynamic pulse duplicator (HKP 2.0) simulating an aortic valve cycle at 70 bpm with 70 mL stroke volume (cardiac output 4.9 L/min). Valve opening cycles were visualized with a high-speed camera (Phantom Miro C320). The resulting values led to further improvements of the prototype (TRISKELION) and were compared to a standard bioprosthesis (Edwards Perimount 23 mm) and a mechanical valve (Bileaflet valve, St. Jude Medical). Results: We improved the silicone prototype with currently used biological and mechanical valves measured in our setup as benchmarks. The regurgitation fractions were 22.26% ± 4.34% (TRISKELION) compared to 8.55% ± 0.22% (biological) and 13.23% ± 0.79% (mechanical). The mean systolic pressure gradient was 9.93 ± 3.22 mmHg (TRISKELION), 8.18 ± 0.65 mmHg (biological), and 10.15 ± 0.16 mmHg (mechanical). The cardiac output per minute was at 3.80 ± 0.21 L/min (TRISKELION), 4.46 ± 0.01 L/min (biological), and 4.21 ± 0.05 L/min (mechanical). Conclusions: The development of a heart valve with a central structure proves to be a promising concept. It offers another principle to address the problem of longevity in currently used heart valves. Using 3D printing to develop new prototypes provides a fast, effective, and accurate way to deepen understanding of its physical properties and requirements. This opens the door for translating and combining results into modern prototypes using highly biocompatible polymers, internal structures, and advanced valve layouts.

PMID:36422234 | DOI:10.3390/medicina58111695

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