Doctors and engineers working together to save lives might sound unusual, but at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, we'll do whatever it takes to stay at the forefront of medicine.
Before performing a complicated aortic valve replacement, cardiologists like Dr. Scott Lilly partner with engineers to make 3D printed aortas and computer models that exactly match the patient's anatomy.
Right now there are few options for artificial aortic valves. Mechanical valves are used in open heart surgery, but require patients to take blood thinners for life. Valves that are deployed through a small catheter have leaflets made from cow or pig tissue, but they don't last as long.
So the lab is hard at work creating a better replacement heart valve with engineered material enhanced with biomolecules. That could make future transcatheter heart valves more durable and more blood compatible, potentially eliminating the need for blood thinners for these patients.
Through this unique collaboration, Ohio State physicians and research engineers are at the forefront of a new era in heart valve replacement.