Smeloff-Cutter Modified Caged Ball Valve

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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
date made
ca 1966
Cutter Laboratories, Inc.
place made
United States: California, Berkeley
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
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
serial number
Credit Line
Gift of Manuel Villafaña
Artificial Organs
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Artificial Heart Valves
Health & Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History