Mechanical properties of a new thermally deformable mitral valve annuloplasty ring and its effects on the mitral valve

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Ideally, an annuloplasty ring's shape should be changed intraoperatively if mitral valve repair is unsuccessful because of a short coaptation length or systolic anterior motion. Several post-implantation adjustable rings have been developed, but they are not freely deformable and are unsuitable for asymmetric repair of the valvular annulus. We developed a novel thermally deformable mitral annuloplasty ring to address these problems and assessed the ring's mechanical properties and its effect on the mitral valve anatomy. This ring was made of polycaprolactone. Tensile and bending tests were performed to evaluate the ring's mechanical properties. The ratio of the transverse and septal-lateral length was determined as 4:3. Using 10 pig hearts, we measured the post-deformation coaptation length and minimum distance from the coaptation to the ventricular septum, which is a factor of abnormal systolic anterior motion of the mitral valve. In the mechanical tests, the ring's yield point was greater than the deformation force of the annulus in humans. In pigs with deformation from 4:3 to 4:2, the coaptation length was significantly increased in each mitral valve part. In pigs with deformation from 4:3 to 4:4, the minimum distance from the coaptation to the ventricular septum was significantly increased. Asymmetrical ring deformation increased the coaptation length only at the deformed area. In conclusion, this new thermally deformable mitral annuloplasty ring could be order-made to effectively change the coaptation length in all parts of the mitral valve and the distance from the coaptation to septum post-deformation via intraoperative heating.

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