From The Horn of Africa To The World: Somalian Scientist Mariam Noor Has Developed A Surgical Ring That Helps Prevent Leaking Heart Valves

There has been a gigantic step toward the solution to heart problems as Mariam Noor, a Somali-born Ph.D. student at Aarhus University, developed a small ring for leaking heart valves. The device is vital as it assists the human heart to improve blood flow and possibly eliminate the need for heart surgeries.

Mariam Noor is pursuing her Ph.D. at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Aarhus University and the Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery at Aarhus University Hospital. The device Noor invented will be able to cure leaking human heart valves, a condition also known as aortic regurgitation or aortic insufficiency.

The device which is in a form of an elastic ring can prevent blood from returning to the heart in a reversal manner. According to Mariam Noor, she has spent over three years working on perfecting the function of the device. As it stands, animal testing has yielded extremely plausible results and has moved the intention closer to being released for application in the medical field.

“We looked at the geometric pattern of the main artery in a pig with a ring and in a pig without it, and we could see that we can actually preserve the natural dynamics. These results look really promising,” Mariam Noor testified.

A leaking heart valve can have distinct levels of severity. As per procedure, Doctors usually treat such conditions by repairing or replacing it with an artificial valve. The risks that come with it were the integral reason why engineers like Noor have been working on a potential solution.

“A prosthetic heart valve is an effective form of treatment, but it’s also a relatively complicated surgical procedure that brings with it a number of risks and complications in the long term. Now we have found a solution that can make it easier to treat patients,” Mariam said. “Instead of replacing the defective valve, my treatment concept is to enclose it in the main artery so it prevents blood from returning to the heart. I’ve developed a new type of ring that tightens around the aortic root to prevent this.”

“The surgical procedure is significantly less invasive, and with the help of diagnostic imaging and 3D printing, we can adjust the ring’s rigidity and strength to the individual patient’s anatomy. This gives us some fantastic options, and the technology has been promising during animal trials”, she continued.

To record the effect of the device, Mariam Noor carried out her experiments in a heart simulator, whereby it is possible to control the pump function, temperature, and flow.

Mariam Noor emphasizes that the invention will go through a few years of clinical approval procedures before the heart ring can benefit patients.

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