Transcatheter heart valve replacements have become life savers for many frail patients who are unsuitable for open heart surgery. While many benefit from implantation of the prosthetic valves, the anatomy of many patients doesn’t lend well to the procedure while for some the placement of the device turns out to be very difficult. Valves are often placed poorly and some can’t be easily repositioned. Now a team at National University of Singapore has developed a prosthetic transcatheter mitral heart valve that positions itself on its own to best fit each patient’s anatomy.
The VeloX valve works with different size mitral annuli and consists of the standard pericardial leaflets on top of a polymer coated nitinol self-expanding structure. The device self-positions and can be removed or repositioned if the fit isn’t quite right.
The NUS team has patented the technology and will launch a startup to put the device through trials and eventually commercialize it into a real product.