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With His Heart In The Right Place

Prof. AV Ramani

A Chemical Engineer and lecturer at IIT Madras is an unusual candidate to have worked on a heart valve that has drastically reduced the cost of such a medical procedure, in turn bringing relief to millions of poor cardiac patients in Asia. However, Professor AV Ramani has done just this.

A former professor of metallurgy at IIT and later an employee of National Aeronautical Laboratories (NAL), he quit his government job and put his vast materials knowledge to the development of one device that will change the lives of millions of children in India who are affected by rheumatic fever and suffer permanent
The Heart Valve Prosthesis
The Heart Valve Prosthesis

damage to their heart valves. The device – an indigenous heart valve, which costs a fraction of the imported ones in use at the time, has been created after years of research and hard work.


Developed at the Chitra Thirunal Institute (CTI) under the patronage of Dr.Valiathan and Prof. S. Ramaseshan, the heart valve adheres to all international standards and has a titanium-based metal cage that is long-lasting and wear-resistant. The engineering demands of such a valve were very high. Deepa Mohan tells us more about the requirements of such a machine in this article for Citizen Matters, a Bangalore based news magazine:


“It is worth remembering,” points out Prof. Ramani, “that the life of the heart valve IS the life of the patient”. The human heart beats about 80,000 times a day. For even a ten year life-span, the valve would have to function for at least 400 million cycles, which means a very high-precision engineering requirement, and, because the heart valve, typically, would be surgically implanted in younger people, it needs to be something that would last for a ‘normal’ lifetime.

Important decisions like allowing contributing partners to retain their intellectual property rights under a concept of joint ownership, and designing the valve specifically for Asian anatomy, where the valve dimensions are different from those of the western population, were other factors contributing to the success and prominence of the venture. Once developed, the challenge of marketing and large-scale manufacture of the product was undertaken by the TTK group, which set up a unit for this in Bangalore.

The indigenous heart valve is, in the words of Deepa Mohan:


..a living proof of how academicians, government officials and business people can work together with great synergy to bring out a product that is both profitable and beneficial.

Read the complete interesting article here.
Image Courtesy: Deepa Mohan in Citizen Matters

Link Courtesy: Uday Arya. Thanks a ton!


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