A Chennai-based heart surgeon announced he has designed and developed India’s first 3-D printed heart valve, giving hope to several thousands of patients requiring heart valve replacement surgery every year.
The currently available artificial heart valves are either made of metal components (mechanical), or from animal tissues (bioprosthetic), each with its own disadvantages or complications, such as the risk of blood clot formation, valve failure due to degeneration, valve infection, the need for long-term blood thinner medications, etc.
The new heart valves developed using 3D printers can overcome these problems related to artificial heart valves, Dr Sanjay Cherian, the Vice President and COO at Frontier Lifeline Hospital, said in a statement.
The heart valves were manufactured using specialised biopolymers that are very similar to human tissue, which can be directly implanted in heart patients.
“We are happy to announce that we have designed & developed India’s first 3D printed heart valve” Cherian said, calling the innovation “a giant leap in the field of cardiology/cardiac surgery”.
“This new 3D printed heart valve could be the future of cardiac surgery, since it overcomes most of the disadvantages/complications associated with the currently available artificial heart valves that are in use today,” he added.
Cherian developed the new 3D printed heart valve in collaboration with the Centre for Automation and School of Mechanical Engineering, Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), Chennai.
“Another added advantage of this 3D printed heart valve is that its design was developed using specialised computer-aided design software andA modeling techniques, based on the MRI scan images of the human heart, as a result of which, we are now able to customise and 3D print heart valves that will fit exactly to the dimensions of the patient’s heart” said Cherian.
Especially since it is “Made in India”, the cost of this novel heart valve could be much lower than that of the imported heart valves that are currently used in India, he noted. Cherian aims to patent this 3D printed heart valve, and test it to confirm its biocompatibility, efficacy and durability.