The new Tria heart valve was created by Foldax® Inc., a Caltech startup cofounded by Mory Gharib, the Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Bioinspired Engineering in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science. Gharib and his team worked closely with Foldax lead designer Jason Beith in designing the new valve. It was implanted in a patient with aortic valve disease at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, as part of an FDA Early Feasibility Study (EFS).
Aortic valve disease—a condition where the valve between the main pumping chamber of the heart and the body’s main artery stops functioning properly—can either be congenital, age-related, or the result of other diseases. The heart valve that the Tria is intended to replace has three flaps, or leaflets, connected by flexible tissue. As the heart beats and pumps blood through the valve, the flexible tissue bends outward, opening the valve. In between the beats, the flexible tissue bends back in, closing the valve and preventing blood from flowing backward. When the leaflets become diseased they stiffen and impede blood flow… Continue reading.