Starr Edwards Heart Valve Prosthesis

Description (Brief)
This is a 22mm Starr-Edwards mitral artificial heart valve. After attemping to design a bi-leaflet artificial heart valve, Dr. Albert Starr (born 1926) and engineer M. Lowell Edwards (1898-1982) abandoned the idea of trying to replicate a natural looking valve. Instead they designed a caged ball device for the replacement of the mitral valve.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Rheumatic fever was still a serious problem. When left untreated it can damage the mitral valve. this can include stenosis or narrowing of the valve opening, regurgitation, the leakage of blood or prolapse, a billowing of the mitral leaflets.
The first implantation of a Starr-Edwards valve took place in the summer of 1960. It had a Lucite cage, and a silicone ball or poppets.
In the 1960s and 1970s five Starr-Edwards ball valves were developed including ones such as this in which the metal struts were covered in Teflon.
An archive and artifact collection documenting the development of the Starr Edwards Heart Valve is located at The Oregon Health and Science University.
Currently not on view
Object Name
artificial heart valve
Edwards Laboratories
Physical Description
lucite (overall material)
silicone (overall material)
teflon (overall material)
overall: 1 7/8 in x 2 1/8 in; 4.7625 cm x 5.3975 cm
overall: 4.2 cm x 5.5 cm; 1 5/8 in x 2 3/16 in
Place Made
United States: California, Santa Ana
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
model number
serial number
S 8997
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
Dr. Patrick K. C. Chun

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