Taber-Cutter Heart Valve

This is a non-tilting disc valve with pyrolytic disc, titanium guard, and four prongs on top and bottom. The tag attached reads "DEMO ONLY." The frame is made of titanium, a single piece to avoid weld marks, and takes an open strut design (to lower the incidence of thrombosis). There is an additional titanium ring guard attached to these struts that is covered in cloth. The sewing ring is made of Teflon and Dacron. The valve remains sealed in a plastic bag and comes in a clear and blue plastic container. The valve design adopts principles of the Smeloff-Cutter prosthesis by using a full-orifice. The largest size valve that was compatible with the tissue would be used to minimize ventricular obstruction. Another Taber-Cutter valve was tested (that did not have guard or pyrolytic disc) in calves and dogs and results show that the valve may be advantageous for those with stenosis of the mitral valve. As of 1970, the valve had been undergoing accelerated wear testing that equaled 2.5 years of clinical implantation. There was minimal wear and no evidence of cocking.
Dr. Rodman E. Taber completed medical school at the University of Iowa and afterwards served as a captain aboard a hospital ship in the Pacific during World War II. Following residency in thoracic and vascular surgery, he built a prototype heart lung machine, developed techniques used in freeze drying grafts used in vascular surgery and was instrumental in artificial heart valve design. He served as President of the Michigan Society of Thoracic Surgery.
Currently not on view
Object Name
artificial heart valve
date made
ca 1972
Cutter Laboratories, Inc.
Physical Description
titanium (valve material)
teflon (valve material)
plastic (container material)
dacron (valve material)
pyrolytic carbon (valve material)
container: 3.4 cm x 5.5 cm x 5.5 cm; 1 11/32 in x 2 5/32 in x 2 5/32 in
valve: 1.4 cm x 3.7 cm; 9/16 in x 1 15/32 in
place made
United States: Michigan
ID Number
catalog number
accession 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
Credit Line
Gift of Manuel Villafaña
Additional Media

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