Development of a prosthetic heart valve with inbuilt sensing technology, to aid in continuous monitoring of function under various stenotic conditions

  • Caleb Papa Kofi Gambrah

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


In spite of technological advances in the design of prosthetic heart valves, they are still often subject to complications after implantation. One of the common complications is valve stenosis, which involves the obstruction of the valve orifice caused by biological processes. The greatest challenge in diagnosing the development of valve failure and complications is related to the fact that the valve is implanted and isolated. To continuously monitor the state of the valve and its performance would be of great benefit but practically can only be achieved by instrumenting the implanted valve. In this thesis, we explore the development of a prosthetic valve with inbuilt sensing technology to aid in continuous monitoring of valve function under various stenotic conditions. 22mm polyurethane valves were designed via dipcoating. A custom made mock circulatory system was designed and hydrodynamic testing of the polyurethane valves under different flow rates were performed with Effective orifice area (EOA) and Transvalvular Pressure Gradient (TVPG) being the parameters of interest. Valves were subjected to varying levels of obstruction to investigate the effect obstruction has on the pressure gradient across the valves. Similar tests were performed on a Carpentier Edwards SAV 2650 model bioprosthetic valve for comparison. Polyurethane valves were then instrumented with strain gauges to measure peak to peak strain difference, in response to varying levels of obstructions. All the polyurethane valves exhibited good hydrodynamic performance with EOA (>1cm2) under baseline physiological conditions. It was also discovered that pressure difference across the valves was directly proportional to the flow rate. The pressure difference also demonstrated a slow increase during the initial stages of simulated stenosis and a sudden increase as the obstruction became severe. This provides further evidence to support the ideal that stenosis is a slow progressive disease which may not present symptoms until severe. The peak to peak strain differences also tend to decrease as the severity of the obstruction was increased. The peak to peak strain difference is indicative of the pressures within the valve (intravalvular pressure). The results suggest that directly monitoring the pressures within the valve could be a useful diagnostic tool for detecting valve stenosis. Future works involves miniaturisation of the sensors and also the incorporation of telemetry into the sensor design.
Date of Award3 Jun 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsUniversity of Strathclyde
SupervisorTerry Gourlay (Supervisor) & Mary Grant (Supervisor)

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