ChordArt – development of device for heart valve repair

In order to study the mechanics of heart valve dysfunction and improve existing repair methods, there is a need to create controlled valve defects at the start of in vivo experiments. Ideally, the disturbance to normal anatomy and physiology is limited to the creation of the valve defect and should therefore be performed in a minimally invasive manner, thereby avoiding traumatic surgery. For this purpose, we have developed a steerable, catheter-based cutting tool that can be inserted via a small incision in the groin. The tool can be guided via large blood vessels into the heart and under echo guidance create the desired valve defect. After withdrawal, the animal model can be used in acute or chronic trials. It will accurately resemble a patient that presents with such a valve dysfunction, and diagnosis via imaging can be performed and the repair method to be studied (either via catheter or surgical) can then be executed under controlled circumstances.


Project members:  Oliver Wüthrich, MSc; PD Stijn Vandenberghe, PhD; Andreas Mächler, MSc; Mark Keller, MSc; Stefan Guggisberg, MSc and Tobias Aeschlimann, BSc.