Valvular heart disease affects millions of Americans yearly and currently requires surgical intervention to repair
or replace the defective valves. Through a close-knit collaboration between physicians, scientists and biomedical engineers,
a vast degree of research and development has been aimed towards the optimization of prosthetic heart valves.
Although various methods have made fantastic strides in producing durable prostheses, the therapeutic efficacy of prosthetic
valves is inherently limited by a dependency upon lifelong anticoagulant regimens for recipients - a difficult challenge
for many in clinical setting. Thus, biological tissue valves have been developed to circumvent vascular and immunemediated
complications by incorporating biological materials to mimic native valves while still maintaining a necessary
level of structural integrity. Over the past decade, a multitude of patents pertaining to the refinement of designs as well as
the advancement in methodologies and technologies associated with biological tissue valves have been issued. This review
seeks to chronicle and characterize such patents in an effort to track the past, present, and future progress as well as
project the trajectory of tissue valves in the years to come.
Keywords: Valvular heart disease, tissue heart valve, bioprosthetic valves, patents, cardiac surgery.
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