About 1 in every 4 adults here in the U.S. has some sort of congenital heart defect, the majority of these defects is caused by a Patent Fossa Ovalis (PFO). It occurs when the hole between the left and right atria (Foramen Ovale) does not close completely at the moment of birth. The study involved designing and then constructing an apparatus to hold an excised heart in proper anatomical
position so that the Fossa Ovalis was accessible from both atria of the heart. Once that was accomplished, a catheter type device was designed and then used to measure the force required to puncture the fossa membrane and the data was recorded. Many different factors were analyzed with this data such as fossa morphology and anatomy. The reason for creating such a device for
testing fossa strength was to observe if the fixation of the tissue with formalin would change the properties of the fossa in a variety of human and pig hearts that have been preserved in formalin and used as in vivo equivalents. The data gained will allow me to compare how current PFO’s (heart defects) are fixed and what new surgical procedures or biomedical devices can be created based on the strength of the average Fossa Ovalis of a human.
Many thanks to the Visible Heart® Laboratory and its staff, Medtronic, and the UROP program.
The Biomechanical Puncture Study of the Fossa Ovalis in Human and Porcine Hearts.
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