Tanita Drejer Jeppesen - PhD Scholarship 2023

Project summary:
A novel expansible aortic annuloplasty ring for aortic valve repair

We have designed a new annuloplasty ring (A-ring) for aortic valve repair to mitigate the limitations of current rings. We have performed acute animal studies and now aim to conduct long-term studies. We hypothesize that the A-ring will preserve normal biomechanical characteristics, and stabilize the aortic annulus better than current surgical technique.

Project Title

A novel expansible aortic annuloplasty ring for aortic valve repair


Despite valve-related complications, aortic valve replacement has been the treatment-of-choice for severe aortic valve regurgitation (AR), a common valvular disease that can lead to heart failure. Nonetheless, aortic valve repair with ring annuloplasty is increasingly recognized as a potential superior option for treating aortic valve regurgitation and aortic annulus dilatation. However, current rings on the market have limitations.


We aim to compare the A-rings long-term durability, biocompatibility, and behaviour with standard procedure.


We will investigate the A-ring with three substudies in a chronic porcine model with a follow-up period of three months.

In substudy 1, we will assess the aortic root dynamics and leaflet characteristics by echocardiography.

In substudy 2, we will perform a dynamic evaluation of the aortic annulus in vitro by echography and High-speed images.

In substudy 3, we will achieve biomechanical tests and histological and immunohistochemical analysis.

Preliminary results

Our preliminary results indicate that the aortic annulus diameter is effectively downsized and revealed comparable expansibility to both the native aortic annulus and conventional Dacron rings. Furthermore, our heterogeneous design of the A-ring seems to provide targeted support to specific segments of the aortic annulus.

Tanita Drejer Jeppesen

  • MD 
  • Aarhus University

Main supervisor:

J. Michael Hasenkam, Professor, Dep. of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, AUH


Leila Louise Benhassen, M.D., Ph.D.,Dep. of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, AUH

Peter Johansen, Associate Prof., Dep. of Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology, AU