Taber-Cutter Heart Valve

The Taber-Cutter non-tilting disc valve has a silastic disc and four titanium struts and cage. It is 37.6mm in diameter. It's serial number is 049M. 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). The sewing ring is made of Teflon and Dacron. The valve remains sealed in a plastic bag. 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. The valve was tested in calves and dogs and results show that the valve may be advantageous for those with stenosis of the mitral valve. In 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 1968
Cutter Laboratories, Inc.
Physical Description
titanium (valve material)
teflon (valve material)
dacron (valve material)
silastic (valve material)
overall: 1.8 cm x 4 cm x 4 cm; 23/32 in x 1 9/16 in x 1 9/16 in
place made
United States: Michigan
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
serial number
Health & Medicine
Artificial Organs
Artificial Heart Valves
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.