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Heart valve design wins HRB prize at BT Young Scientist

17 January 2018

Congratulations to Thomas Hayes a sixth year student from Yeats College Galway who won this year's HRB special prize at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition 2018.

Dr Sarah Craig, HRB, and Thomas Hayes, Yeats College, Galway.

Thomas designed an artificial heart that met the ISO standard for heart valve substitutes.

His prototype device uses a clever mix of stainless steel rings and bovine tissue that is potentially cheaper than current commercial options. The valve is also more flexible that current designs and could provide a much better fit to patients.

Through a process of iterative design, including frame-by-frame video analysis of liquid backflows, and with the help of mentors including his teacher Marian Lowry, and Tara Hogan and Pádraic Cunningham at Boston Scientific, Thomas was able to incrementally refine and improve his initial valve design.

''The prototype needs further testing, especially for durability and performance over time, says Thomas, 'but for now I need to shift my focus back to my leaving cert studies'.

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