Isolated Heart



In case of an insufficiency or stenosis of the aortic valve, the native valve can be replaced by mechanical or biological heart valve prosthesis. If the surgery is too risky for the patients, foldable heart valve prostheses can be implanted minimal invasive through the femoral artery with a catheter system. The percutaneous heart valves are forwarded to the aortic root and are released in aortic valve position.


The aim of this project is to develop a standardized test procedure for percutaneous aortic valve prostheses on base of an isolated pig heart. Problems like positioning, valve opening and anchoring in the aortic root are planned to be investigated in a beating heart. The in vivo situation is imitated and by using the transparent fluid, endoscopic recording and investigation gets possible. The hearts are taken from ended animal trails of other research groups or from the slaughterhouse. The results will be used to increase the development state before clinical testing. Thereby the number of animal trials will be reduced


The Isolated Heart (Langendorff-Heart) is a technique to reactivate explanted mammalian hearts ex vivo. Therefore, the hearts tissue has to be protected with cardioplegic techniques during its transport and preparation. After explantation and preparation, the heart is cannulated and connected to a pump, which provides an oxygenated solution under physiological pressure, temperature and flow conditions. Instead of blood a crystalloid transparent fluid can be used (Krebs-Henseleit-Solution). When the coronaries (and thereby the myocardium) are reperfused, the heart usually starts autonomic beating in the sinus rhythm for several hours.


This project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research