In a previous communication, we reported a leaflet fracture in a Jellyfish valve that was incorporated into a blood pump, after a 312-day animal implant duration. Subsequent finite element analysis revealed that the fracture location was consistent with an area of maximum strain concentration. Therefore, the aim of this study was to improve the durability in the light of these findings. Based on the engineering analysis results, a new valve seat having a concentric ring of 0.5-mm width, located at a radius of 7.0 mm, was designed and fabricated. Accelerated fatigue tests, conducted under the conditions recommended by ISO 5840, demonstrated that the durability of this new prototype was extended by a factor of 10, as compared to the original valve. Moreover, further finite element analysis indicated that the maximum equivalent elastic strain of the proposed new valve was reduced by 52.3% as compared to the original valve. Accordingly, it has been confirmed that the modified Jellyfish valve is suitable for use in long-term artificial hearts.
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