The National University Heart Centre, Singapore (NUHCS) team received the National Medical Research Council (NMRC) grant which enabled them to carry out their research to design a new mitral valve. A/Prof. Theodoros Kofidis, the Principal Investigator (PI), tells us more about this invention that seeks to change the way mitral valve operates.
Our NUHCS team has worked hard for years to set up a hemodynamic animal experimentation lab. It is accompanied by a biochemical wet lab, where all basic experiments are being carried out. It took eight years and more than S$10 million of funds from NMRC and National Research Foundation to come thus far. The key contributing factors were good scientific outcomes and a cohesive team, which introduced new surgical approaches to treat cardiac disease and clinched a good reputation with Singapore's funding bodies, such as NMRC.
Receiving the NMRC Grant
NMRC awarded our team with the entire requested amount of S$1.5 million to pursue yet another innovative idea, which will hopefully change the way we operate the mitral valve. So far, mitral valve replacement has been done with rigid and unnatural prostheses, which are invariable, inflexible and circular. Most of the time, they comprise of stents that protrude into the heart's cavities, causing foreign body reactions, thrombosis, and infection. Their long-term outcomes are acceptable, but usually do not restore the patient's life expectancy and the optimal function of the left ventricle.
Revolutionising the Mitral Valve
Thus, we proposed a naturally designed mitral valve prosthesis, called
We further expect that the SingValve will not require any anticoagulation and will be durable for a very long time.
A series of large animal experiments will be carried out, where the SingValve prototype and its variations will be tested and eventually modified to reach the best possible design and outcome. We anticipate the SingValve to reach preclinical status in three to five years from now and hope that it will bring recognition to NUHCS.
A/Prof. Theodoros Kofidis