The West German Heart Centre Essen, in collaboration with Endosmart and the Department of Physical Engineering, Fachhochschule Gelsenkirchen, developed an innovative prototype of a novel heart valve resection tool based on foldable nickel-titanium (NiTi) blades (European and US patent pending).
In experiments conducted at the German medical centre, in-vitro resection of worn out artificially calcified aortic valve bioprostheses was performed using an interim cutting device prototype for open access valve surgery. A 21mm foldable and circular cutting blade was used for the in-vitro resection. The researchers observed that aortic valve cutting could be obtained without any complications in all cases. Resection time was 15 to 35 seconds, depending on the severity of calcification. The maximum turning moment varied between 3Nm and 3.5Nm.
“Our first in-vitro results confirm the feasibility and accelerated aortic valve resection within 30 seconds,” wrote Dr Daniel Wendt and Professor Heinz Jakob, Essen, Germany. “This new concept holds promise for a very fast AVR in combination with the insertion of a self-expanding/balloon expandable sutureless aortic valve prosthesis, cutting down ischaemic time to less than 10min in aortic valve surgery, making classic surgery again more attractive.”