Northwestern Polytechnical University Students Envision the Next-Generation of Prosthetic Heart Valves


As part of an ongoing collaboration between Northwestern Polytechnical University and the University of British Columbia Okanagan, engineering students from NPU took part in a research program this summer led by the School of Engineering. One component of this research program was led by the Heart Valve Performance Laboratory where students were taught the complexities and challenges involved in the design of implantable biomedical devices with a focus on surgically implanted prosthetic heart valves.
The students were given an overview of the history of mechanical and bioprosthetic heart valves, with an emphasis on the advantages and disadvantages of various historical heart valve prostheses. By teaching the methodology behind designing a successful biomedical device as well as the limitations of current mechanical heart valves, students were provided the skillset for their design challenge, designing their very own mechanical heart valves.

From left to right: Seldon, Song, Alan, Flora, Arpin, Zora, Emre, Dylan, and Zora

With guidance from the HVPL team, the students were able to realize their theoretical mechanical heart valve designs by leveraging 3D CAD software and the rapid prototyping facilities at UBC Okanagan to produce functional, physical representations of their designs.