C V Muraleedharan
Articles written in Bulletin of Materials Science
Volume 14 Issue 6 December 1991 pp 1363-1374
The heart of a normal human being beats about 38 million cycles every year. An artificial heart valve, to perform at this rate in the adverse conditions inside the heart for 20 years or more, should be highly wear-resistant with excellent fatigue strength. Thus, the study of mechanical and physical properties of the materials intended for use in artificial valves becomes an inseparable part of the valve development process itself. The physical and mechanical requirements of the materials used in the Chitra heart valve have been evaluated by studying their water absorption, adhesive wear and abrasive properties. The mechanical durability of the device has been assessed by accelerated life cycle testing. The test systems developed for the above are described here. The results show UHMW-PE to be a highly wear-resistant material suitable for the occluder. The accelerated wear tests show that the valve with Haynes-25 alloy cage and UHMW-PE disc has durability in excess of 50 years.
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