The heart is one of the main organs, which continuously pumps blood in the whole organism. Cardiac valves, which open and close at every heartbeat, provide the organism’s full carrying capacity. When something goes wrong, cardio surgeons do their job. The golden hands of surgeons change the valves and give the patients a possibility to live an ordinary life. As many as two decades ago Belarus started producing artificial prostheses. It’s the very case when medicine, industrial and academic sciences joined their efforts. Results can already be seen. Hundreds of people have artificial valves which were made in Belarus. Mechanical valves have a special status.
The process of producing a mechanical valve is laborious and long. Some 70% of the prosthesis is manual work, which is comparable with the art of jewelry. It takes up to 22 hours to make one valve. The processing of the frame and the plug of the valve takes up most of the time.
A mechanical prosthesis is a permanent thing, because its frame is made from titanium, and the agile cusps are made from pyrolytic carbon. It can serve the patient for a long period of time. However, there are disadvantages. Patients, who have such valves, must always be taking blood thinners, so that blood clots do not appear. This problem is completely solved by biological cardiac valves. And today Belarusian scientists are cooperating with cardio surgeons in order to develop such biological prostheses.
A biological prosthesis is absolutely natural; it means that it catches on better and quicker. Of course, it won’t serve as long as a mechanical valve will, that is why it has to be changed every ten years. Such developments present new possibilities and perspectives for the cardio surgeons. It is planned that Belarusian biological cardiac valves will be produced in about three years’ time. During this period of time they will have to go through some serious tests. The new development will allow hundreds of patients with cardiac valve illness to significantly improve the quality of their lives.