Test Facility

Pulse duplicator system / Heart valve durability tester

For hydrodynamic characterization of prosthetic heart valves cardiovascular hydrodynamic test systems mimicking conditions of the left side of a heart are used. These pulse duplicator systems technically simulate the function of the left heart and have been established for years to characterize heart valve prostheses under simulated cardiac conditions. The new generation testing device will be applied to analyze heart valve prototypes with novel artificial leaflet materials. Durability testing of artificial heart valves requires at least 200 or 600 million loading cycles (equivalent to 5 or 15 years in vivo), depending on the valve type. The heart valve durability tester allows accelerated testing of up to 2 surgical or transcatheter heart valves with an applied pressure difference according to ISO 5840. Maximum test frequency is 30 Hz. The testing device is applicable to different aqueous media and can therefore be used to analyze calcification effects.

Test instrument for in vitro testing of heart valve materials

Testing the fatigue strength of biomaterials requires cyclic loading of up to 600 million load cycles. The instruments can be used for accelerated tests of a variety of specimens, including biomaterials, acellular and cell-seeded scaffolds, native tissue samples and tissue-engineered constructs. An axial as well as an axial pulsatile load can be realized. The automatic logging of the test parameters (pressures, forces, elongations, number of load cycles) is performed over the entire test period. The device is suitable for the use of various aqueous test media, in particular cell culture media, and is therefore also suitable for the investigation of calcification effects. The instrument will mainly be used for the investigation of novel heart valve materials.