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Cambridge Cardiovascular



Clinical replacement heart valves are imperfect. They are either:

  • mechanical, which increase the risk of blood clots and necessitate the use of blood-thinning medication, or
  • made of pig or cow pericardium, which have limited life span.

Polymeric heart valves offer an attractive alternative to these. However, most polymers are isotropic - this means that their properties, for example strength and stretchiness, are the same in all directions. This is in marked contrast to natural heart valve tissue, which is highly anisotropic, including fibrous reinforcement of a flexible matrix.

We use controlled processing of a self-assembling polymer to mimic the fibrous reinforced structure of healthy natural soft tissue to produce a durable heart valve with excellent blood compatibility. Pilot lab work carried out by our group has established the feasibility of using the proposed materials to make innovative heart valve prototypes that have been tested in vitro. Our current research aims to prove the efficiency and reliability of our prototype, an essential requirement of the stringent regulatory approval process.


Key publications: 

A Computational Tool for the Microstructure Optimization of a Polymeric Heart Valve Prosthesis. Serrani M, Brubert J, Stasiak J, De Gaetano F, Zaffora A, Costantino ML, Moggridge GD. J Biomech Eng. 2016 Jun;138(6):061001.

Hemocompatibility of styrenic block copolymers for use in prosthetic heart valves. Brubert J, Krajewski S, Wendel HP, Nair S, Stasiak J, Moggridge GD. J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2016 Feb;27(2):32.

Fluid dynamic characterization of a polymeric heart valve prototype (Poli-Valve) tested under continuous and pulsatile flow conditions. De Gaetano F, Serrani M, Bagnoli P, Brubert J, Stasiak J, Moggridge GD, Costantino ML. Int J Artif Organs. 2015 Nov;38(11):600-6.

A Newly Developed Tri-Leaflet Polymeric Heart Valve Prosthesis. Gaetano F, Bagnoli P, Zaffora A, Pandolfi A, Serrani M, Brubert J, Stasiak J, Moggridge GD, Costantino ML. J Mech Med Biol. 2015 Apr;15(2).

Structural changes of block copolymers with bi-modal orientation under fast cyclical stretching as observed by synchrotron SAXS. Stasiak J, Brubert J, Serrani M, Talhat A, De Gaetano F, Costantino ML, Moggridge GD. Soft Matter. 2015 Apr 28;11(16):3271-8.

A bio-inspired microstructure induced by slow injection moulding of cylindrical block copolymers. Stasiak J, Brubert J, Serrani M, Nair S, de Gaetano F, Costantino ML, Moggridge GD. Soft Matter. 2014 Aug 28;10(32):6077-86.

Mechanical strength of sutured block copolymers films for load bearing medical applications. Stasiak J, Nair S, Moggridge GD. Biomed Mater Eng. 2014;24(1):563-9.