1 July 2021 - Clinician-scientists from the National University Health System (NUHS) have received a $4.9 million grant from the National Research Foundation Singapore to develop a fully bespoke, naturally-designed mitral valve bioprosthesis. Named SingValve, this game-changing innovation mimics the exact appearance, form, and physical properties of a human mitral valve. Compared to conventional models, SingValve could potentially offer prolonged durability, fewer complications, and reduced risk of repeat surgery due to prosthesis wear and tear.
Situated in the left heart chamber, the mitral valve helps to regulate blood flow within the heart. Patients suffering from severe mitral valve disease may need to have it replaced when they are leaky, blocked, and beyond repair. Such cases make up around 500 in Singapore alone, and over a million around the world annually.
“I felt compelled to design something to help all those millions of patients around the world, to receive something more high tech, more adapted to the human anatomy, that can provide better function for them,” said Associate Professor Theodoros Kofidis, the principal investigator for this project, who heads the department of cardiac, thoracic, and vascular surgery at the National University Heart Centre, Singapore.