Vascular and Structural Heart Solutions
Structural Heart Components:
Transcatheter Aortic, Mitral, Tricuspid, and Pulmonic Valves: When the human heart valve becomes severely diseased and can no longer function adequately to pump and prevent leakage of blood, it may become necessary to replace one or more of those valves with an artificial version. Transcatheter valves require thin, compliant fabrics to meet the demands of today’s minimally invasive transcatheter procedures. Transcatheter valves often require fabrics to prevent paravalvular leakage (PVL) while maintaining a low profile design to support small delivery catheter requirements. Thin, low permeability woven fabrics are often used to achieve the desired requirements. Thin knit fabrics can also be used to support elimination of PVL. While ATEX can provide flat tapes, tubular fabrics typically provide further improvements in assembly operations and can contribute to the reduction of PVL. Custom laser cut components can be provided that align with the valve frame geometry, further simplifying assembly operations.
Valve skirt attachment via sutures can be challenging and time consuming, especially when managing the lack of contrast between white UHMWPE sutures and white valve skirt components. ATEX can provide custom dyed UHMWPE using FDA approved colorants, further simplifying the assembly process and by marking the points at which to sew through its fabric marking capabilities.Read More
Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion (LAAO) Devices: Atrial fibrillation can result in blood clots dislodging from the left atrial appendage, resulting stroke. LAAO devices are designed to prevent this from happening. Devices may block the opening of the appendage, or they may clip the appendage from outside of the left atrium. LAAO devices designed to block the opening of the appendage typically require thin fabric covering with significant flexibility and distinct pore size to achieve the desired result. The flexibility enables the device to crimp down for loading and deployment while maintaining a uniform covering of the LAAO device frame when fully deployed. The pore size is critical in order to allow blood flow across the device while preventing blood clots from dislodging from the appendage.
Aortic Valve Sewing Rings: When a heart valve is replaced with a surgical prosthetic, it must sit securely in place and be able to withstand the force of the beating heart as well as the passage of blood through the chambers. Surgeons rely upon the sewing ring encircling the surgical valve to accomplish these tasks. The sewing ring often consists of a PET knit material.
Embolic Protection Devices:
This is a class of products that plays an important role in preventing stroke during procedures such as TAVR. An embolic protection device acts as a physical barrier, preventing particles and debris from traveling to the brain, lungs and kidneys where they can occlude critical passageways for blood and oxygen. Such occlusions can lead to difficulty breathing, stroke and, in severe cases, even death. ATEX Technologies can provide highly engineered textiles that can facilitate the capture of these particles by precisely controlling pore size, material type and overall dimensions. The key in engineering high performing textiles for this application is to manufacture textiles that can capture particles of many sizes effectively while also allowing for the flow of blood through the “filter”.
Vascular graft scan be made in a number of different configurations including straight, bifurcated, branched and Valsalva. The grafts themselves are frequently made from knit or woven tubes. Woven grafts tend to have the strongest construction and are highly resistant to dilatation. They have a high burst strength and low porosity and are frequently used for thoracic applications. Knitted grafts tend to be a bit easier to handle and are less prone to fraying. They also offer excellent suture retention and, due to the open structure, allow for greater tissue ingrowth than what one sees in a woven graft. Knit grafts are frequently associated with abdominal, ascending and descending aortic and thoracic applications and peripheral vascular applications. In addition to the graft styles listed above, ATEX Technologies can create precisely-engineered fenestrated grafts as well. Such grafts are so named because the component is designed and manufactured with holes (or fenestrations) located in very specific areas of the graft to allow for blood to flow into the branched arteries of the aorta. Fenestrated abdominal aortic aneurysm stent grafts allow blood to flow unhindered to critical areas of the body such as the kidneys while decreasing pressure on the aneurism, preventing potential aneurism rupture.
Stent grafts are similar to the grafts discussed previously but these products typically have a self-expanding frame that is covered with a knit or woven material to seal the vessel walls and prevent leaks. Often used in minimally invasive endovascular aortic repair, stent grafts are critical devices used to heal aortic aneurysms. As with general vascular grafts, the format of the stent graft can be varied, sometimes with multiple branches depending upon the severity of the repair that must be made. The textile covering for the flexible frame can be knit or woven.