Harp seal heart valves being tested for human use

Collier, Roger
June 2009
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;6/23/2009, Vol. 180 Issue 13, p1290
Academic Journal
The article reports on the plan of researchers in Canada to conduct a test on the suitability of using heart valves from harp seals for human use at the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute in Québec City. Canada research chair Philippe Pibarot relates that the harp seal heart valves could be superior to bovine or porcine valves considering that seal valves are thicker and have a robust structure designed to survive harsher conditions. Moreover, cardiac surgeon Andreas Agathos, believes that this will be the best valve on the market compared to the valves of dolphins, porpoises, and whales. In contrast, animal rights groups believe the research is unnecessary. Europe has banned the importation of seal products.


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