The increase in heart valve disease and other cardiovascular conditions is fueling the demand for minimally invasive technologies. Secant Group combines biomaterial science and biomedical textile engineering technologies to create custom components that offer functional benefits to cardiovascular devices, including traditional and transcatheter heart valves, annuloplasty rings, vascular stent grafts for endovascular repair, and regenerative scaffolds.
Synthetic structures and tissue hybrids are the preferred materials in meeting the tissue response and durability requirements for long-term repair. These biomedical structures can be used as conductive materials and formed into tissue-engineered scaffolds to elicit a specific biologic response, such as cellular adhesion or controlled tissue integration. Resorbables can affect biologic repair by controlling the degradation or absorption rate of the biomedical structure to range between 60 days and 12 months.
Heart Valve Structures
Since the first successful synthetic heart valve device was implanted nearly 60 years ago, aortic valve replacement devices have revolutionized the treatment of damaged or diseased heart valves. As the devices evolve, biomedical textile components engineered with advanced biomaterials can provide greater variability of properties and performance characteristics to address the specific functional needs of these technologies.
Biomedical textiles can support annuloplasty ring designs to reshape damaged valves by promoting tissue growth, providing solid anchoring, helping to prevent regurgitation, and supporting sufficient blood flow. Polyester knit and braid structures have traditionally been the medical textiles of choice for this application. The material softness and controlled porosity enable tissue growth, and their shape flexibility accommodates dynamic valve function. Next-generation designs may incorporate resorbable materials to leverage the heart’s natural healing abilities. These designs will also demand unique biomedical structures that enable transcatheter delivery.
Traditional heart valve replacement devices require a material that is both elastic and porous to promote tissue in-growth and facilitate leaflet and stent function. Biomedical textile technologies have several properties that can help manufacturers meet complex device requirements such as:
Shielding other device components from undesired tissue contact
Providing for solid anchoring and attachment of the device
Preventing paravalvular leakage
Textiles for traditional heart valves are typically engineered as flat or tubular knits, woven, or high-covering braided biomedical structures made with polyester fibers. However, as future designs are developed, biomedical textile engineering and materials science will continue to play a critical role in making other biomedical structures possible.
Transcatheter Heart Valves
Transcatheter valve replacement is a suitable treatment for most patients with aortic stenosis. In the next 10 years, these valves could become the treatment of choice for the disease.1 Transcatheter heart valve devices minimize the incision site, tissue damage, and patient trauma while reducing the risk of infection and recovery time. Biomedical textiles enable device delivery through a thinner fabric profile, various pore size options, and elasticity. These fabric structures are engineered to be in tune with specific device requirements.
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) and Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement (TMVR)
Biomedical textile components provide resistance to stress and fatigue while displaying shape-transforming properties. Low-profile woven polyester biomedical structures can be engineered to support heart valve device delivery in catheters as small as 12 French. Medical textiles make the design of devices that facilitate several surgical approaches possible, including direct aortic, subclavian, transfemoral, and/or transapical.