The mitral valve repair space just got a little less complicated due to research from a team of engineers from The University of Texas at Austin. The group has developed a new noninvasive technique for simulating repairs to the mitral valve, which they say has levels of accuracy reliable enough for use in a clinical setting.
The approach involves the use of computational modeling technology that could allow surgeons to provide patient-specific treatments. The engineers outlined their computational modeling technique for imaging mitral valve leaflets in recent issues of the International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering and the Annals of Biomedical Engineering.
"Heart valves are very difficult to study,” Michael Sacks, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering, said in a release. “They are complex structures that move incredibly fast and are located inside the heart, making them extremely difficult to image. Our new computational model provides surgeons with a tool for the prediction of postsurgical outcomes from clinically obtained presurgical data alone."
The researchers said with the new predictive technique, surgeons won't have to take the previous one-size-fits-all approach to mitral valve leaflet repair. The team’s next step is to try and commercialize the technology.