What are heart valves made out of?

As humans, if we knew everything about our bodies, well maybe it would have been way easier to maintain good health. But then again there’s so much to learn and retain – bones, muscles, organs (all those organs!) and all the nitty-gritty details that come with them.

Today we will dive a little deep into your cardiovascular system and find out what exactly are heart valves made out of (insert gasp here). But before getting into this mind-boggling question though let’s explore some basic things about what these apparently unimportant parts actually do.

The Heart Valves

The primary function of heart valves is to ensure blood flows in one direction only through the chambers of the human heart. Their role is so critical that if they even malfunction in any way it can lead to serious consequences for patients with cardiovascular disease or disorder.

Types Of Heart Valves

There are four types of heart valves found within your body:

  • Tricuspid valve
  • Pulmonary valve
  • Mitral valve
  • Aortic valve

These four prevent blood backflow which could potentially damage both the chambers as well as causing poor blood supply/oxygenation around our entire bodies..

Composition Of Heart Valves

Heart valves require high strength and flexibility under constant stress from pressures created by pumping large amounts of blood. So what materials make up a hardy worker like the heart-valve?

Interestingly enough compared to many other tissues within our anatomies cardiac structures contain more extracellular matrix than cells. Extracellular matrix (ECM) provides support not just metabolic homeostasis but also creates architectural design for tissue repair+regeneration post-injury/surgery- ECM scaffolds mimic physiologic conditions enabling simulated tissue growth.

Broadly speaking all cardiac ECM contains common structural components such as collagen elastin fibronectin tenascin laminin chondroitin sulphate and hyaluronan

Types of ECM

Before we delve any further, it’s important to note that extracellular matrix can be classified into two distinct subtypesbaseline and fibroblastic

Baseline Extracellular Matrix

This kind of ECM is found in a lot of tissues throughout our bodies including cardiac ones. It contains minimal living cells (psst less than 1% by volume!) but has glycoaminoglycans, proteoglycans, bioactive proteins which provide the physiologic grid/tissue architecture.

Fibroblastic Extracellular Matrix

However this one is more defined as fibrous tissue usually located within areas with high mechanical stress. {{like maybe your heart???}}

Fibers are densely packed leading to its higher rigidity/thickness (contrary to baseline) . In addition there a greater level of interfiber connectivity hence serving various purposes such as distribution or transferal momentum at optimal pace due prevention against extreme deformation/tears.

The Cell And ExtraCellular Composition

Now you’re ready for some juicy details..So what makes up the regulators that decide blood flow direction? What do these valves use in their composition? Are they looking normal like ordinary human chest muscle or can one find something unique about them?

Thankfully for us scientists have been studying heart-valve histochemistry-these experiments show different results starting from extra-cellular-matrix elements deciding type size quality/durability while cellular patterns exist accordingly.

At present time credible research on this topic discuss how extracellular components potentially control valve cell development morphology so if anything goes wrong here , well prepare yourself …

The final molecular structure also depends greatly upon biodegradation factors cytocompatibility conditions chemical/biological stresses encountered during servicing especially considering biological implants where longevity/prediction measures become much harder commtted .

Take a look at some of the influential ECM substances found within heart valves:

Components Functions
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) Protect against forces from mechanical and microbiological nature whilst preserving tissue elasticity/reducing brittleness.
Proteoglycans & Bioactive Proteins, Collagen Fibers, Elastin Fibers & Fibrillin 1 and others Neomycin-Resistant Cassette – Serve roles like matrix modulation/remodeling , physiology/vascular formation alignment structural reinforcement + tissular regeneration post implantation/transplantation once cell-count rises tissue type adapts for compatible longevity with blood supply mechanisms .

Different Types Of Heart Valves And Materials

Multiple innovations have been made toward repairing replacement or restoring original vitality back into damaged or diseased cardiovascular tissues.

  • Autologous Cell Cultures: In this approach cardiac cells implanted to regenerate damaged areas
  • Bioscaffold Implants: Surgically placed but bio-resorbable materials able to mimic extracellular matrix space occupied by future naturally grown cells
  • Valve Prostheses This is perhaps one of the commonest solutions providing the most effective results in healthcare today. These are artificial implants designed as substitutes where natural ones are either absent, facing degradation beyond repair capacity thereby posing an immense threat to overall wellbeing.

Tissues From Autologous Stem Cells

This may get complicated so brace yourself! Stem cell therapies involves deploying therapeutic agents consisting billions potentially trillions [insert joke about trump’s IQ] specialized organisms who aid new tissue formation accelerating important metabolic functions necessary for growth maintenance + restoration

A few different approaches exist how stem cells can provide bespoke native valve configurations such as:


It’s worth noting that despite high promise for these methods/techniques, more testing needs to be done as challenges concerning optimal resource appropriation + potential rejection into human tissue exist.

Mechanical Prosthetic Valve

Mechanical valves can outlast their biological counterparts available on the market today but they come with a few downsides> These devices are made from synthetic materials often (titanium or carbon ) and require patients take blood thinners post device-implantation

I repeat it may save you from having to go back multiple times using other approaches but there still is possibility complications arise over time.

On the bright side? Mechanical heart valve prostheses usually last anywhere between 12 years and 30 years, meaning that if someone decides ok im good lets get a mechanical Vs. opting for newer models/biological ones every couple decades then this saves him/her effort time money resources mental energy strewn over sequential surgeries tailored according capitivity around interventions alongside customer expectations/emerging technological advancements .

Biological Prosthetic Valve

Biological valves offer a distinct advantage of not necessitating long-term use of anticoagulant medication vs artificial ones however safety concerns have been raised about accelerated/tissue-calcification/failure

Most commercial varieties currently produced in bovine/cow tissues where rejection rates after surgery being noted instances between 5 percent fifteen percent depending variables mentioned earlier previous surgical history overall health status comorbidities apparent (/not apparent)


One amazing fact ? At room temp xenografts (pig replacements) values lifespan under perfect situations clocked exceed forty years success rate at least three fold compared average length living scenario… WHY MUST WE WORRY ABOUT AGING AGAIN???

Bio-prosthetics offer longer term advantages perpetuating native cellular lifestyles allowing basal physiologic responses anytime necessary opposed engineering/manufacturing cycles.

Risks & Benefits

It’s difficult to recommend any one type of heart valve over another as each carries with it its unique advantages and disadvantages, however a general understanding regarding associated risks can be beneficial in making an informed decision.


Depending on which device/procedure is selected patients undergoing treatment should expect common mild-to-severely such as minor discomfort or fluctuations within normal activity levels . However, there are potential complications that can arise from implanted devices:

  • Risk Of Heart Attack
  • Valve Prolapse
  • Device Thrombosis
  • Endocarditis

All this sounds bad but doesn’t have to be – As always approach medics experienced surgeons familiarized necessary adjustments proper guidance these everyday issues could at best minimized / prevented resulting longer term efficacy.

Final Thoughts

While the topic of what heart values are made out may not seem all too important at first glance it bears significance upon considering the severity of risks involved with malfunction or failure.

Current achievements including innovative technology surgical interventions procedures stem cell therapeutics collectively redefining capabilities once thought impossible repairing rejuvenating restoring failing/ailing cardiovascular machinery-maybe we silly humans aren’t really so helpless afterall (winks)

In conclusion adhere closely instructions given routinely refined policies supplement personal vigilance reinforced guidelines through empathetic understandings basic empathy preventative measures proactive changes will save invaluable time resources improve overall patient quality care productively dealing regard new/existing complexities. Cheers!

Random Posts