Hancock Aortic Tissue Valve

Description (Brief)
Tissue valves such as this Hancock Mitral Valve must be stored in a sealed liquid (formaldehyde) filled container until implantation.
Both porcine (pig) and bovine (cow) tissue are used to make xenograft (transplant from one species to another) valves. Porcine valves utilize the actual valve from the pig, whereas bovine valves are cow tissue that is manipulated into the shape of a valve.
The Hancock Mitral-Tricuspid is a porcine tissue valve, and has a pliable sewing ring. Advantages of having a tissue valve is that one need not take blood-thinner/anticoagulant medication after receiving the valve. For the majority of tissue valve patients, taking an aspirin a day is sufficient anticoagulation therapy. A disadvantage is that they are less durable and will need to be replaced within the patient's lifetime, typically 10 to 15 years, often less in younger patients. Because valve replacement surgery carries a significant risk of death, patient life expectancy is a major criterion in considering a tissue valve. Tissue valves can become hardened, or calcified, over time and there is a rare risk of tissue valve failure or infection.
This valve was manufactured by Extracorporeal Medical Specialties, Inc., which operates as a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
Currently not on view
Object Name
artificial heart valve
date made
Extracorporeal Medical Specialists Inc.
Physical Description
porcine (valve material)
glass (valve container material)
plastic (valve container material)
paper (container material)
stabilized glutaraldehyde (overall active ingredients)
container: 9.2 cm x 9.2 cm x 9.3 cm; 3 5/8 in x 3 5/8 in x 3 21/32 in
place made
United States: California, Anaheim
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
model number
serial number
Artificial Organs
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Artificial Heart Valves
Health & Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


Add a comment about this object