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Heart valve stent

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Heart valve stent

A heart valve stent having a section equipped to receive a heart valve implant and several proximally disposed anchoring elements, characterized by several anchoring threads, which with the one end thereof are fastened to the stent, and also with a brace fastening the anchoring threads with the other end thereof to the distal chamber wall to provide tension between the heart chamber wall and the proximally anchored anchoring elements.
Related Terms: Heart Chamber

Inventors: Georg Lutter, Lucian Lozonschi
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120283824 - Class: 623 218 (USPTO) - 11/08/12 - Class 623 
Prosthesis (i.e., Artificial Body Members), Parts Thereof, Or Aids And Accessories Therefor > Heart Valve >Flexible Leaflet >Supported By Frame >Resilient Frame

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120283824, Heart valve stent.

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This application represents a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 12/677,958, filed Sep. 9, 2010, pending, a National Stage application of PCT/DE2008/001515 entitled “Heart Valve Stent”, filed Sep. 10, 2008.


The invention refers to a valve stent with a section equipped to receive a heart valve implant and several of proximally disposed anchoring elements.

Such heart valve stents are known in various forms for the replacement dysplastic and degenerated heart valves. Thereby, the surgical implantation of heart valve prostheses is regularly accomplished in the cardioplegic heart. The old, functionally degenerated heart valve is resected and the new, implantable heart valve is sewed in.

However, when the mitral valve is affected, one tries, as far as possible, to maintain the old valve in spite of its malfunctioning so that the entire dynamic mital valve apparatus is not disturbed. The reason for this is that, for instance, the chordae tendineae which are attached to the mitral valve are very important for ventricular function. Therefore, they should preferably not be removed from the old mitral valve.

Ideally, the mitral valve (in case the old valve cannot be reconstructed) will be pushed aside as far as possible to make room for a new valve. Space does not play such an important roll as compared to the aortic annulus which can be more easily stenosed (i.e. during displacement of the old aortic valve for sole percutaneous implantation).

The chordae tendineae of the mitral valve shall be, if possible, structurally maintained to preserve the ventricular geometry and hence of the left ventricle or achieve optimal function of the left chamber as far as possible. Therefore, a best possible function of the left chamber is obtained and achieved. Of significant relevance is that the anterior mitral valve leaflet is not pushed aside into the free space toward the left ventricle, but rather that it is attached to the mitral annulus so that a press forward of the anterior leaflet into the left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) is avoided (“sam” phenomenon: systolic anterior movement). This is extremely important, because otherwise a left heart decompensation (massive dysfunction of the left ventricle) could rapidly occur.

Surgically the old mitral valve is attached to the old annulus so that there is a free flow of blood through the valve and both adjacent heart chambers. After pushing aside (attachment of the valve onto the annulus) the heart valve prosthesis is surgically implanted into the annulus.

This extensive method mandatorily takes place with the help of a heart- and lung-machine. For high risk patients it is usually not used and minimally invasive and percutaneous methods to perform the implantation of a heart valve are sought.

In this context, the German patent DE 195 46 692 C2 and the corresponding EP 1469 797 B1 is known. This patent describes a self-expanding heart valve prosthesis for the implantation into a human body using a catheter system with a heart valve and a foldable, valve-connected and expanding stent. Such a self-expanding heart valve prosthesis can be directed through the femoral artery with the help of a catheter based system to the area of cardiac implantation. After the stent reaches the area of implantation, it can be successively defolded. Along its long axis, the stent is composed of several, at angles to each other, self-expanding segments that are defolded gradually. After expansion, the heart valve prosthesis can be anchored with the support of hooks at least in the respective blood vessel close to the heart.

Another apparatus for the fixation and anchorage of heart valve prostheses is described in the German Patent 100 10 074 A1 which fundamentally consists of wire-like elements attached together. Different brackets are hereby used to secure anchorage and brace a heart valve.

Even with the known solutions there is still the danger that a heart valve is mal-implanted due to wrong positioning and deficient angular adjustment of the heart valve prostheses. Improved positioning and angular alignment for the aortic valve can be reached by the stent described in the European Patent EP 1 469 797 B1 which consists of supportive holders which can be inserted into the aortic pouches and create a defined distance to the aortic valve. Beyond this, the possibility exists to halt a failed implantation of a heart valve prosthesis and to push the valved stent (“a valve integrated into a stent”) back into the catheter delivery system (more precisely the “cartridge”). Thereby, it is possible that the stent can again slide out when good positioning for the valved stent has been reached. Thus, the valved stent can be taken in and out until the optimal positioning has been achieved (“sliding technique”).

A much larger problem for the optimal positioning of the new heart valve in the stent (alternatively valved stent) still exists in the following: in most cases the old, native valve will not be eliminated by the above-described technique of implantation.

This leads to the fact that the new valve which will be pressed into (partly squashed into) the old, deformed valve will be transformed into the original form. The reason for this is that the location of implantation for the valved stent is affected by the morphology, the shape and consistency of the old native valve (for instance by sclerosis or calcification of the native valve).

Therefore, the old annulus of the valve with the corresponding changed valves/pouches determines to what extent and where the native valve will defold and whether its form can develop. Hence, for the optimal function of the valve and maintenance of the atrial and ventricular function not only the anchorage/positioning is important, but also the fitting of the valve stent into the neo-annulus (old valve annulus with old valve shapes it) and with it the pushing back of the old valve.

Based on the fact that there are known problems of the valved stents, the challenge of this intervention is to produce a heart valved stent, especially a mitral valved stent, for minimally-invasive transplantation, which preferably facilitates the natural functioning of the heart.



The basic idea of the invention is to produce a heart valve stent which establishes the anatomic requirements for the natural exertion of the function—like a healthy heart. In the process, the invention-related heart valve stent with its self-expanding, foldable embodiment establishes a minimally-invasive operation which assures an exact positioning and secure fixation of the valve stent. Thereby, a tension between the mitral valve and ventricle similar to the natural tension of the chordae tendineae is generated, and at the same time it will be provided that the valve parts of the old mitral valve (especially the anterior mitral valve leaflet) will not disturb the flow rate of the blood.

Therefore, it is intended that the valve stent, according to the invention, is catheter-inserted into one of the heart chambers or into the adjacent large vessels of the heart, then defolded in one of the heart chambers, whereupon its anchoring elements are fixed in the tissue. Finally, the stent is fixed at its opposed, subvalvular wall of the heart chamber under development of a tension between the wall of the heart chamber and the proximal, supravalvular, fixed anchoring elements with anchoring sutures (hereafter referred to as neo-chordae).

The fixation of the anchoring sutures in the distal wall of the heart chamber exhibits a thrust bearing to the proximal anchoring elements which will be established by a joint or another element acting as a thrust bearing. This counter bearing can be preferentially designed also as an adjusting element for the length of the sutures.

Advantages of the heart valve stents which according to the intervention are the exact and easy fixation of the heart valve stent and improved contractility of the heart in minimally-invasive operations inn comparison with customary valve stents.

Preferentially, the axially, relatively to the longitudinal axis, arranged anchoring sutures are fixed according to the invention (the valve stent) with one end to the annulus of the heart valve implant, so that after development of a tension between the stent and the wall of the ventricle, the positioning and the angular arrangement of the valve can be directly impacted. The anchoring sutures can also be fixed at the distal part of the circumference of the valve stent. The connection between the anchoring sutures and the stent has to be conducted so that a tension which should run fundamentally in an axial direction relative to the long axis of the stent and is formed between the proximal anchoring elements and the distal counter bearing.

According to another preferential design of the invention, the anchoring sutures (neo-chordae) have elements to adjust the length of the anchoring sutures so that through the length of the anchoring sutures a certain tension between the heart valve stent and the heart wall can be regulated.

Thereby, an adjusting element, for example, for the individual length of sutures or for all sutures together can be allowed for. The adjusting element for the length of sutures is preferably designed small and can, for instance, be constructed in such a manner that this element shortens the suture to the desired length by rolling-up of the excess thread.

The construction of the elastic anchoring sutures along the axis are also preferred so that they are able to react to heart contractions without having too sutures that might negatively affect the heart function. Here the suture length should be selected so that the elasticity is not sacrificed due to the tension between the anchoring elements and the heart wall.

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Previous Patent Application:
Methods of implanting an implantation device
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Intraocular lens.
Industry Class:
Prosthesis (i.e., artificial body members), parts thereof, or aids and accessories therefor
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Heart Chamber

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