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Going Public: Heart Stem Valve Research Conducted By Southeast Missouri State Undergraduate Seniors

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Flickr / Cori Kindred


According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1.6 million Americans are affected by tricuspid regurgitation of the heart. One common treatment for this is the reinforcing or replacing of heart stem valves with artificial rings. However, according to Kate Appleman and Awab Esaid, this specific treatment is severely under researched.

Appleman and Esaid recently spoke with KRCU Public Radio about their involvement in undergraduate research at Southeast Missouri State University pertaining to the tricuspid heart valve. 

“ The amount of research that’s being done on these rings is shockingly very low, so there’s not much data to the amount of force that is needed to close the rings” Said Esaid,  senior at Southeast involved in undergraduate research on the topic. 


The dual pressure ventricle system used by the team of researchers has had very little experience being tested by others.

  “We do an ex vivo study, so we actually implement it. Other studies have been just using the rings, but they don’t actually implant it on the hearts or utilize the dual pressure ventricle system that we have.” Said Appleman, fellow senior and researcher with Awab. 

At the beginning of October, Appleman had the opportunity to present their research for the Biomedical Engineering Society. “ I got to go and present in front of several people in the cardiovascular devices session.” Said Appleman “There was a professor who presented first before me. Then it was a third year PhD student and a fourth year PhD student who presented after”

Last year, Appleman was able to be published in the Journal of Biomechanics for her contributions to the research done on heart stem valves. The abstract for their most recent study has been accepted into yet another medical journal, “So hopefully by December,” said Esaid, “ we’ll both be published.”


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