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Promise of new seamless heart valve

Jacquard coil weaving technique enables tubes with built-in valves to be created without further sewing or or joining steps.

27th June 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Frankfurt, Germany


Researchers at the University of Dresden’s ITM (Institute of Textile Machinery and High Performance Material Technology) have developed the world’s first seamless woven heart valve.

The development received the 2022 Techtextil New Product  Innovation Award at the exhibition held in Frankfurt from June 21-24.

Every year, cardiovascular disease kills more than 17 million people worldwide.

When patients need a heart valve replacement today, they usually receive either mechanical or biological artificial heart valves.

One disadvantage of the mechanical solutions, however, is that they require lifelong anticoagulant therapy. Biological heart valves, on the other hand, have a much shorter lifespan and their manufacture is complex.

ITM’s valve is made possible by a proprietary Jacquard coil weaving technique which enables tubes with built-in valves to be created without sewing steps and initial trials have shown promising functionality

“This is the first woven heart valve that does not require a single seam or other joining technique,” said Dilbar Aibibu, research group leader for bio and medical textiles at ITM. “Due to the complex geometry and function of heart valves, they have not been produced simply by weaving without additional process steps before. For children with valve defects in particular, the valve has the potential to eliminate repeated surgical interventions because it grows with the heart. Major medical device manufacturers from all over the world called at our Techtextil stand to learn about the latest implants and research in the field of implants and medical textiles.”

ITM worked with medical product manufacturers and heart surgeons from the Cardiovascular Centre and University of Würzburg on the development, which is ongoing.

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