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Design of Artificial Heart Valves
Dr Burriesci and his team (in collaboration with the team of Prof Seifalian, Royal Free Hospital) has developed a synthetic leaflets heart valve with haemodynamic performances similar to biological valves and improved lifetime. The optimised valve design was defined using the finite element method to simulate the entire physiological cycle of the valve. The material selected for the leaflets was the synthetic nanocomposite polymer recently developed at UCL, suitable for this application. In particular, the design aimed at optimising the hydrodynamic performance (maximum effective orifice area and minimal backward flow) and the durability (reduced fatigue stress and wearing). Valves based on the developed design were manufactured and their hydrodynamic performances were assessed experimentally under physiological operating conditions, in a pulse duplicator. The durability of the prostheses is currently under investigation on a high-cycle simulator purposely built in the department.
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