Replaceable Heart Valve Component System?

Patent No. 7470285:  Transcatheter Delivery of a Replacement Heart Valve Inventors: Alan Nugent; James E. Lock Assignee: Children’s Medical Center Corp.

The patent appears to suggest a method and devices that properly designed would  allow the replacement of a heart valve with a reduced level of complications as compared to current methods of valve placement.    The inventors are M.D.’s at the Children’s Hospital Boston.  A review of PubMed publications by the inventors reveals that they are without a doubt experienced surgeons that publish regularly on using stents and stent failure in cardiovasclar surgery.  No publications were found that discussed the animal studies that would be a precursor to this invention.  While the patent looks interesting there appears on initial review to be a lack of published data and engineering input which makes me cautious as to the ultimate value of the approach and whether it has been reduced to practice.

My interest was the attempt to reduce the trauma of replacing failed artificial heart valves and a need for technologies that are designed to facilitate the process by reducing the severity of the trauma of replacement surgery.  It certainly is a more daunting engineering feat but nonetheless one that bears addressing until valves that last the lifetime of a patient are developed or grown in bioreactors which is still many years in the future.

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