Aortic Valve Molds

Description (Brief)
These two molds of a dog's aortic valves were made by Dr. Victor Parsonnet and Dr. Gideon Gestring about 1977. Accompanying the molds is a letter written by Dr. Parsonnet to Mr. Villafana, dated April 22, 2002. Therein he discusses the molds he made "perhaps 25 years ago" when his primary research interest was to develop collagen vessels. He impregnated Dacron mesh with collagen and implanted it into the subcutaneous tissues of dogs. It was successful, which led Parsonnet to attempt to make a leaflet valve of this kind. Their attempts at designing this type of valve failed. "In hindsight it was an interesting adventure, but one that failed." In marker on both valves it reads "DR. GESTRING".
Currently not on view
Object Name
artificial heart valve, molds, set
date made
ca 1977
Physical Description
metal (mold material)
mold 1: 3.6 cm x 2.4 cm; 1 13/32 in x 15/16 in
mold 2: 3.5 cm x 2.6 cm; 1 3/8 in x 1 1/32 in
place made
United States: Minnesota, Minneapolis
ID Number
catalog number
accession 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

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.