Smeloff-Cutter Modified Caged Ball Valve

Description (Brief)
This double caged ball valve for aortic valve replacement was developed by Edward Smeloff M.D. The struts at the top and bottom of the valve remain open and unconnected to the lower surface area. It has a titanium skeleton with a silastic ball and cloth suture. Its advantages are long term durability and good hemodynamics. The disadvantages are a high embolic rate and the need to take an anticoagulant. This valve is a size T, with serial number 534A. A 1975 study on 200 patients who received this implant yielded a hospital mortality rate of 22% and a thromboembolic complication rate of 15%. Another study of 134 patients with a mean age of 54 years and aortic stenosis as the dominant issue yielded an 85% survival rate of 5 years and a 75% survival rate of eight years. Its main structural problem is that of ball variance, but it has an advantage over disc valves with a lower rate of thrombotic stenosis.
Edward Smeloff (1925-2012) worked with the engineering department at Sacramento State College to develop a mechanical heart. The Smelloff-Cutter valve was the result of this effort. The valve was manufactured by Cutter Laboratories, a family-owned pharmaceutical company in Berkeley, California founded by Edward Ahern Cutter in 1897.
Currently not on view
Object Name
artificial heart valve
date made
ca 1966
Cutter Laboratories, Inc.
Physical Description
silastic (valve material)
titanium (valve material)
cloth (valve material)
silicone rubber (valve material)
valve: 3.9 cm x 4.3 cm; 1 17/32 in x 1 11/16 in
place made
United States: California, Berkeley
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
serial number
Health & Medicine
Artificial Heart Valves
Artificial Organs
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Artificial Heart Valves
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Manuel Villafaña
Additional Media

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