Gott-Daggett Heart Valve

Gott-Daggett Heart Valve

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The Gott-Daggett heart valve is a hinged bileaflet prosthesis developed by Dr. Vincent Gott, MD of Johns Hopkins University and Dr. Ronald Daggett, PhD. It has a central cross strut and prongs projecting inwards from base ring. Also called "butterfly valve," it was to be used for both mitral and aortic replacement. It has a very low profile and was first used in August 1964. It is made of polycarbonate plastic impregnated with colloidal graphite. The suture ring is made of Styrofoam, and the leaflet is heavy Teflon mesh impregnated with silicone rubber, or Dacron reinforced silicone rubber. The valve was manufactured by Daggett. Some problems included thromboembolism and hemolysis. Clotting did occur, but extended survival with this prosthesis has been reported.
Dr. Vincent Gott, MD (b. 1926) received his medical degree from Yale University. He then interned at the University of Minnesota Hospital in 1954 with Dr. C. Walton Lillehei.
While a research fellow in Lillehei’s laboratory (1956- 1957) he helped to develop the first practical pacemaker, and observed Lillehei's first cross-circulation case.
Gott trained with Christiaan Barnard of Cape Town and stopped operating at 67 years of age, after having been professor and surgeon at Johns Hopkins. Ronald Daggett (1916-2004) was a professor of Plastic Engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
In an interview donor Manuel “Manny” Villafaña said "he used principles that were totally against everything we knew about valves. He used plastic, not metal. He took the plastic and he painted it with a brush and paint, black paint made out of carbon. He painted every surface 'cause carbon is less thrombogenic than metal...everything you know about valves is contrary to this one. Then the most amazing thing is that they implanted 432 of these and some of them lasted 25 years."
Currently not on view
Object Name
artificial heart valve
date made
after 1964
Daggett, Dr. Ronald L.
Gott, Dr. Vincent L.
place made
United States: Maryland, Baltimore
Physical Description
styrofoam (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
teflon mesh (overall material)
silicone rubber (overall material)
polycarbonate (overall material)
overall: 1 cm x 3.2 cm x 3.2 cm; 13/32 in x 1 1/4 in x 1 1/4 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession 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
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