Cutting–Edge Biotechnology puts India on the World Map- India’s First 3-D Printed Heart Valve
Chennai : Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the world today, with 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 / 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.
With the recent advances in technology & research-led innovation, the scope of using 3D printing to design new heart valves that could overcome these problems related to artificial heart valves, was proposed by Chennai-based Heart Surgeon, Dr. Sanjay Cherian.
“We have been doing extensive research on the concept of 3D printing in the field of Medicine. Earlier, 3D printing was used to plan the surgical approach, especially for complex procedures, in order to help cardiac surgeons & cardiologists to navigate & choose the best approach to treat heart diseases. This time, we focused our efforts on using 3D printers to manufacture heart valves using specialized 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” said Dr. Sanjay Cherian.
A working prototype of the new 3D printed heart valve was displayed by Dr. Sanjay Cherian.
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.”
This scientific innovation is a giant leap in the field of cardiology/cardiac surgery, and was undertaken 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 specialized computer-aided design software & modeling techniques, based on the MRI scan images of the human heart, as a result of which, we are now able to customize & 3D print heart valves that will fit exactly to the dimensions of the patient’s heart” said Dr. Sanjay.
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.
We are now in the process of patenting this 3D printed heart valve, and testing it to confirm its bio-compatibility, efficacy & durability.