COIMBATORE: Researchers from two US universities and the PSG Institute of Medical Science and Research here will work together, to develop a low-cost prosthetic heart valve for India.
The two US universities are the Colorado State University and the Ohio State University. The research will get a grant for two years from the National Institutes of Health in the US and Department of Biotechnology in India.
The principal investigators will be cardiothoracic surgeon P R Murugesan of PSG Hospitals and Associate Professor Lakshmi Prasad Dasi, School of Biomedical Engineering, Colorado State University.
They plan to develop a valve that is superior to the mechanical-tissue valves in use now. Plastic materials will be used to address problems associated with rheumatic heart valve disease, which is common in developing nations.
“Patients who receive mechanical heart valves must remain on lifelong medication to prevent clotting of blood. These have their own side effects and complications. Bioprosthestic valves, usually made from animal tissue, are prone to hardening over time. They last only 10-15 years,” said Dr Lakshmi Prasad Dasi.
“The valve to be developed under this project will be made from flexible plastic materials containing hyaluronan, a chemical found in natural heart valve tissues. Its design will be optimised for superior performance over a longer period without needing anticoagulation therapy,” he added.
The PSG Institute has already opened a new lab to conduct pre-clinical studies in pigs and sheep in Coimbatore, said a media release.