Hufnagel Tri-Leaflet Aortic Heart Valve

Hufnagel Tri-Leaflet Aortic Heart Valve

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Description (Brief)
This trileaflet valve which looks similar to a natural human heart valve was developed by Charles Hufnagel, MD. It is coated in hepacone, silicone rubber impregnated with heparin, and is a size 5 with a diameter of 33mm. Hufnagel believed the trileaflet design would prove to be superior to the ball and cage heart valve because it provided better dynamics. The base of the valve was designed to fit the shape of the aorta when implanted. The leaflets or cusps were made of polypropylene and coated with silicone rubber at high pressure. A 1975 study of patients who had received this prostheses determined that the Hufnagel trileaflet valve was not durable enough to withstand constant blood flow. In a majority of cases, patients died due to prosthetic degeneration or thrombosis. Other problems included aortic regurgitation and stenosis. The Hufnagel tri-leaflet valve was distributed by Codman and Shurtleff, Inc. of Randolph, Massachusetts and manufactured by Heyer-Schulte Corporation.
Currently not on view
Object Name
artificial heart valve
date made
after 1967
Codman & Shurtleff, Inc.
Physical Description
plastic (container material)
polypropylene mesh (valve material)
silicone rubber (valve material)
container: 3.2 cm x 5.4 cm x 5.4 cm; 1 1/4 in x 2 1/8 in x 2 1/8 in
valve: 2 cm x 3 cm; 25/32 in x 1 3/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
serial number
Credit Line
Gift of Manuel Villafaña
Artificial Organs
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Health & Medicine
Artificial Heart Valves
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object