Bjork-Shiley Heart Valve

Bjork-Shiley Heart Valve

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Usage conditions apply
Bjork-Shiley artificial heart valves are disc valves with a low profile, high orifice-to-tissue ratios, low embolic rates, and good hemodynamics. The minor orifice would often clog up because of its small opening. These earlier models have a disc made with Delrin polymer, which was later found to be an unsuitable material as it absorbs water and would break down easily. The Delrin was replaced with the more durable pyrolyte. The flat disc valve, when made with pyrolyte, was very successful. There were close to 300,000 implants of Bjork-Shiley valves between 1969 and 1986.
Dr. Viking Bjork (1918-2009), chairman of the Department of Surgery at Karaolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, collaborated with Donald Shiley (1920-2010), a biomedical engineer in California, to develop this tilting disc valve. Shiley graduated from the University of Portland in 1951 and was involved in the design of the Starr-Edwards valve. He founded Shiley Laboratories, Inc., the company which manufactured this valve. Shiley Lab. was bought by Pfizer in 1979.
Currently not on view
Object Name
artificial heart valve
date made
after 1969
Shiley Incorporated
place made
United States: California, Irvine
Physical Description
cloth (valve material)
delrin (valve material)
stellite (valve material)
stellite (valve material)
valve 1:.7 cm x 3.7 cm; 9/32 in x 1 15/32 in
valve 2:.6 cm x 2.7 cm; 1/4 in x 1 1/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Manuel Villafaña
Artificial Organs
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Artificial Heart Valves
Health & Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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Just wanted to share that in 1980 I had a Bjork Shiley put in me. Shortly after it was implanted there was a recall on them and many people had the surgery repeated and had a different kind inplanted. I wasn't having any problems so I didn't get mine replaced and I am glad I didn't cause I still have the same valve in me now for 41 years and it is still ticking fine. I thank the good Lord and the Bjork Shiley manufactuers for such a great valve.
My father’s (patient file no. 445067) Bjork-Shirley aortic valve (serial no. 27ABP4426) was implanted on 16th April 1976 by Prof Bentall at Hammersmith Hospital, London, and is still going. Do you know of anyone interested in collecting data on longevity of such valves?
I used work shiley lab in Irvine Aug06/1979-Dec/1979 I was a tissue sewer That was my first job in USA I’m so glad to found u here I’m so proud of this company and heart valve That time we use cows skin And it was amazing I never forget that job I was pregnant so I left for baby and moved to other state But that job and company distempered and coworker was great to me I couldn’t speak enough English But they were so great I appreciate I never had a chance to say thank to that company and coworker Now I still remember and thank you Awesome company and coworker Good Luck Sincerely Eunice Lee Ps. That time My name was Eun H Kim

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