Lillehei-Kaster Valve Embedded in Plastic

Description (Brief)
This sutureless Lillehei-Kaster bi-leaflet valve was introduced in 1970. the valve is embedded in plastic to be used as an advertising tool. It is made of titanium and pyrolite coated graphite. It had low embolic rate, good hemodynamics, and low hemolysis.
Tilting disc valves were first introduced by Lillehei-Kaster in 1969. Robert Kaster earned his electrical engineering degree from the University of Minnesota (1951). He became interested in designing prostheses while working in Dr. C. Walt. Lillehei's laboratory. It was there that he designed the tilting disc valve. The disc is held in place by two side prongs. Kaster also worked with another valve creator, Jack Bokros, to develop his disc. Lillehei-Kaster valves were produced by Medical Incorporated of Minneapolis. These valves demonstrated high durability due to their pyrolyte composition and had "essentially no valve failures."
Currently not on view
Object Name
artificial heart valve
artificial heart valves
date made
after 1970
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
pyrolytic carbon (overall material)
graphite (overall material)
titanium (overall material)
overall: 2.9 cm x 3.3 cm x 1.7 cm; 1 5/32 in x 1 5/16 in x 21/32 in
place made
United States: Minnesota, Minneapolis
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Artificial Organs
Artificial Heart Valves
Health & Medicine
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

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