(19)
(11)EP 2 486 893 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
05.07.2017 Bulletin 2017/27

(21)Application number: 11425029.3

(22)Date of filing:  14.02.2011
(51)Int. Cl.: 
A61F 2/24  (2006.01)

(54)

Sutureless anchoring device for cardiac valve prostheses

Vorrichtung zur nahtlosen Verankerung von Herzklappenprothesen

Dispositif d'ancrage sans suture pour prothèses valvulaires cardiaques


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(43)Date of publication of application:
15.08.2012 Bulletin 2012/33

(73)Proprietor: Sorin Group Italia S.r.l.
13040 Saluggia (VC) (IT)

(72)Inventors:
  • Rolando, Giovanni
    13040 Saluggia (VC) (IT)
  • Ercolani, Mauro
    13040 Saluggia (VC) (IT)
  • Gaschino, Paolo
    13040 Saluggia (VC) (IT)
  • Marchisio, Andrea
    13040 Saluggia (VC) (IT)

(74)Representative: Bosotti, Luciano 
Buzzi, Notaro & Antonielli d'Oulx Via Maria Vittoria, 18
10123 Torino
10123 Torino (IT)


(56)References cited: : 
US-A- 3 143 742
US-A1- 2006 271 175
US-A1- 2004 225 353
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Technical field



    [0001] The present description relates to cardiac valve prostheses adapted for sutureless anchoring, anchoring systems for use with cardiac valve prostheses, and techniques and instruments for anchoring cardiac valve prostheses to an implantation site.

    [0002] Exemplary cardiac valve prostheses may be prostheses for the replacement of the mitral valve or the aortic valve of the heart.

    Background



    [0003] Anchoring a prosthesis to its implantation site may play a key role in implanting cardiac valve prostheses.

    [0004] Implantation performed in an easy and rapid manner may reduce the risks related to procedures that are complex and/or long to perform.

    [0005] US-A-3 143 742, US-A-3 546 710, US-A-3 574 865, US 2006/0271175 and US-A-6 059 827 are representative of so-called sutureless cardiac valve prostheses, which are adapted for anchoring at the implantation site by a technique that does not require suturing the valve to the implantation site.

    [0006] Once implanted, the valve must resist displacement with respect to the implantation site.

    [0007] Displacement of the valve may occur, for example, as a consequence of the hydraulic pressure/thrust exerted by the blood flow or due to the movements of the beating heart.

    Object and summary



    [0008] An object of the invention is to avoid the technical drawbacks previously described.

    [0009] According to the invention, that object is achieved by means of a device having the features set forth in the annexed claims.

    [0010] The claims form an integral part of the technical disclosure provided herein in relation to the invention.

    Brief description of the figures



    [0011] The invention will now be described purely by way of non-limiting example with reference to the annexed figures, in which:
    • Figures 1A-C illustrate various embodiments of an anchoring device for cardiac valve prostheses,
    • Figures 2A-2D illustrate various embodiments of an anchoring device for cardiac valve prostheses,
    • Figures 3A-D illustrate various embodiments of components of an anchoring device,
    • Figure 4 illustrates an embodiment of an anchoring device coupled to an implant site,
    • Figures 5A-B illustrate embodiments of the components shown in Figure 3,
    • Figure 6 is a partial sectional view of an embodiment of an anchoring device,
    • Figures 7 illustrates embodiments of an anchoring device, with Figure 7A being a sectional view along line VII-VII of Figure 7,
    • Figure 8A illustrates an embodiment of an anchoring device, while figure 8B is a plan view of an embodiment of an anchoring device with some parts removed for the sake of clarity,
    • figure 9A is a perspective sectional view of an anchoring device according to various embodiments,
    • figure 9B is a plan view of an embodiment according to figure 9A,
    • figure 9C is a schematic view of features of an anchoring device according to various embodiments,
    • Figure 10A is a detailed view according to arrow X of Figure 8B, while Figures 10B-D illustrate variants of the detail of figure 10A according to various embodiments,
    • Figures 11A-C schematically show radial sections of embodiments of anchoring devices,
    • Figures 12A-D illustrate embodiments of anchoring devices, and
    • Figures 13 to 19 illustrate a sequence of implanting a cardiac valve prosthesis with an anchoring device according to various embodiments.

    Detailed description



    [0012] In the following description, numerous specific details are given to provide a thorough understanding of embodiments. The embodiments can be practiced without one or more of the specific details, or with other methods, components, materials, etc. In other instances, well-known structures, materials, or operations are not shown or described in detail to avoid obscuring aspects of the embodiments.

    [0013] Reference throughout this specification to "one embodiment" or "an embodiment" means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment are included in at least one embodiment. Thus, the appearances of the phrases "in one embodiment" or "in an embodiment" in various places throughout this specification may be not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the particular features, structures, or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments.

    [0014] The headings provided herein are for convenience only and do not interpret the scope or meaning of the embodiments.

    [0015] While many of the following exemplary embodiments are shown and described with reference to repair of a mitral valve, the skilled artisan will recognize that many of these embodiments may also be used to repair or replace other heart valves.

    [0016] In figure 1A reference number 1 designates as a whole an anchoring device for anchoring a cardiac valve prosthesis to an implantation site, the anchoring device 1 including a first anchoring assembly 2, a second anchoring assembly 4 and a connection structure 6, arranged to operatively couple the first and the second anchoring assemblies 2, 4.

    [0017] In various embodiments the above mentioned components may be coaxial with respect to a longitudinal axis X of the device 1. The connection structure 6 may be configured for housing a cardiac valve prosthesis V such as a cardiac valve prosthesis of the mechanical type with one or more artificial valve elements VL (see e.g. figures 2A, 2B, 2D, 8, 12Ato 12D, and 13 to 19). Such prostheses are known in the art, which makes it unnecessary to provide a detailed description herein.

    [0018] In various embodiments, an artificial cardiac valve prosthesis may include an annular element O defining an orifice of the prosthesis V wherein blood flow is regulated by means one or more artificial valve leaflets. According to exemplary embodiments, these valve leaflets are formed from biological tissue or from mechanical structures (e.g., two hemi-discs or semi-circular discs).

    [0019] In various embodiments, the connection structure 6 may be a ring which defines an annular element (armature or stent) O of the prosthesis V, and may be thus part of the prosthesis V, with the artificial valve leaflets installed directly within the connection structure 6.

    [0020] In various embodiments, the connection structure 6 may be configured substantially as a seat for the prosthesis V, whose annular element O may be received and fixed within the connection structure 6.

    [0021] In various embodiments the valve prosthesis V may be a biological prosthetic valve including one or more (e.g. three) leaflets made of biological tissue stitched together to reproduce the arrangement of the natural valve leaflets.

    [0022] In various embodiments the biological prosthesis may be received within the connection structure 6.

    [0023] In various embodiments, the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may be physically distinct with respect to the connection structure 6.

    [0024] In various embodiments, one of the two anchoring assembly may be provided integral with the connection structure 6.

    [0025] In various embodiments as exemplified in figure 1B, the first anchoring assembly 2 may be provided integral with the connection structure 6, while the second anchoring assembly 4 may be provided as a separate element.

    [0026] In various embodiments as exemplified in figure 1C, the second anchoring assembly 4 may be provided integral with the connection structure 6, while the first anchoring assembly 2 may be provided as a separate element.

    [0027] In various embodiments, while physically distinct from the connection structure 6, one of the two anchoring assemblies 2, 4, may be provided preinstalled thereon, the resulting arrangement thus being similar to embodiments wherein one anchoring assembly may be integral with the connection structure 6.

    [0028] The schematic illustration of the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 of figures 1A-C shows that in various embodiments these assemblies may include respective anchoring formations defining an annular, possibly noncontinuous structure.

    [0029] In various embodiments, the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may be configured as a closed, continuous structure.

    [0030] In various embodiments either or both of the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may be discontinuous, e.g. provided as a pair of tapered hemi-rings 8, 10 and 12, 14 respectively.

    [0031] In various embodiments as exemplified in figure 2A, the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may be each provided as a closed tapered ring (such a structure that can be at least roughly assimilated to a Belleville spring), the two anchoring assemblies being arranged with their respective flared portions facing each other.

    [0032] In various embodiments as exemplified in figure 2C, either or both of the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may have a tapered shape similar to that shown in figure 2A, and develop along a non-planar closed path.

    [0033] In various embodiments, the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may be provided as tapered rings with a plurality of radial anchoring formations 16.

    [0034] In various embodiments, the anchoring formations are arranged in one or more pairs of complementary portions 20, 40, associated with the anchoring assemblies 2,4, respectively. According to various embodiments, the complementary portions 20, 40 are arched portions associated with corresponding or complementary portions of the circumference of the anchoring assemblies.

    [0035] In various embodiments the anchoring formations 16 are configured as integral extensions of the corresponding anchoring assemblies.

    [0036] In various embodiments as exemplified in figures 3A to 3D, the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may have a variety of different structures.

    [0037] In various embodiments as exemplified in figure 3A, either or both of the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may be configured as an open annular element. Such a structure will exhibit a certain degree of circumferential deformability.

    [0038] In various embodiments, either or both of the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may be configured as closed annular elements including at least one recess shaped portion 18 that provides a certain deformability, i.e. either or both the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may be configured as expandable closed rings.

    [0039] In various embodiments, regardless their structure (i.e. open or closed), either or both of the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may be provided with one or more inner radial teeth 19.

    [0040] In various embodiments, the anchoring formations of each arched portion may be bent towards the complementary arched portion.

    [0041] In various embodiments these anchoring formations are substantially saw-tooth shaped.

    [0042] In various embodiments as exemplified in figure 4, the anchoring device 1 may be configured to provide a firm anchoring of a cardiac valve prosthesis to an implantation site without suture being required.

    [0043] Such anchoring may be achieved in various embodiments by securing (e.g. capturing, sandwiching or pinching) portions of native biological tissue of the implantation site between the anchoring assemblies 2, 4. The native biological tissue may be pinched between the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 as they are coupled together for example by means of the connection structure 6.

    [0044] In various embodiments, the implantation site may be the mitral valve annulus.

    [0045] In various embodiments as exemplified in figure 5A, either or both the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may include a base body such as an open annular element 22 (similar to those of the embodiments of figures 3A, 3C) having, extending radially outwardly therefrom, a crown of anchoring formations 24 having a saw-tooth profile similar to that of the anchoring formations 16 but each provided with an aperture 26, e.g. triangular in shape.

    [0046] In various embodiments, at least some of the anchoring formations 24 may not have such apertures, thereby having a solid configuration more similar to that of the anchoring formations 16.

    [0047] In various embodiments, the anchoring formations 24 are configured as integral extensions of the corresponding anchoring assemblies.

    [0048] In various embodiments, teeth 19 may be provided in the base body 22, e.g. internally thereof.

    [0049] In various embodiments, the anchoring formations 24 may have different radial extensions along the ring 8.

    [0050] In various embodiments as exemplified in figure 5B, either of both of the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may include a base body such as a closed annular element 28 (similar to those of the embodiments of figures 3B, 3D) and a plurality of anchoring formations 24, possibly provided with openings 26, arranged in groups alternate to the recess-shaped portions 18.

    [0051] In various embodiments, the anchoring formations 24 (whether provided with the triangular openings 26 or not) may be arranged to confer a substantially tapered shape to the anchoring assemblies 2, 4. That is the anchoring formations 24 (as well as, in various embodiments, the recess-shaped portions 18) may be arranged so as to lie substantially at an angle with respect to the plane of the respective base body 22, 28.

    [0052] In various embodiments, in correspondence with at least one pair of complementary arched portions having anchoring formations for anchoring on said native biological tissue located at or near the valve annulus, the anchoring formations include integral extensions of the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 extending radially outwardly of one of the anchoring assemblies in an alternate arrangement with respect to corresponding extensions extending radially outwardly of the other anchoring assembly. In various embodiments, these corresponding extensions may be similar or generally homologous to each other. Each anchoring formation of one anchoring assembly 2, 4 may thus be located, when the anchoring assemblies are coupled by the connection structure 6, between two adjacent formations of the other anchoring assembly, whereby the anchoring formations of the two anchoring assemblies, once coupled, give rise to an interdigitated (i.e., intertwined or intermingled) arrangement. That is with the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 mutually coupled to secure the biological tissue, the extensions in the two complementary arched portions interdigitate and impart to the biological tissue secured therebetween a serpentine trajectory.

    [0053] This may improve the stability of the anchoring device at the implantation site because the biological tissue at the implantation site may become trapped and pinched between the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 thus being tensioned, stretched and firmly held.

    [0054] In various embodiments, the anchoring formations 24 (irrespective of whether solid or apertured) may be elastically deformable.

    [0055] In various embodiments, the connection structure 6 may be a ring element including one or more coupling profiles adapted to receive the anchoring assemblies 2, 4.

    [0056] In various embodiments as exemplified in figure 6, such coupling profiles may include annular grooves G, e.g. with a groove G for each anchoring assembly 2, 4.

    [0057] In various embodiments wherein the anchoring assemblies include radial teeth 19, only one assembly 2, 4 may be configured to engage within the groove G. In various embodiments without the teeth 19, an annular portion of the base body may engage the groove G.

    [0058] In various embodiments, at least one anchoring assembly may be configured as a closed annular element (e.g. as exemplified in figures 2A, 2C, 2D, 3B, 3D, 5B) and that anchoring assembly may be coupled with the connection structure 6 (e.g., by snap-engagement) within a corresponding groove G by means of an elastic and, possibly, an additional plastic deformation of the anchoring assembly (which may be facilitated by the recess shaped portions 18, where present).

    [0059] In various embodiments, at least one anchoring assembly may be configured as an open annular element (e.g. as exemplified in figures 3A, 3C, 5A). Such an anchoring assembly may be coupled with the connection structure 6 by radially expanding it by moving apart the free ends thereof, by engaging the inner rim of the radially expanded anchoring assembly within a corresponding annular groove G and then letting the anchoring assembly contract again elastically so that the inner rim thereof is captured in the annular groove G.

    [0060] In various embodiments, the anchoring formations may extend over different radial lengths around the outline of the corresponding base body.

    [0061] In various embodiments as exemplified in figure 7, either or both the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may include a base body such as an annular element 30 (either open or closed), having a plurality of anchoring formations 32 extending radially outwardly therefrom.

    [0062] In various embodiments, the anchoring formations 32 may be configured as integral extensions of the corresponding anchoring assemblies.

    [0063] In various embodiments, the formations 32 may be substantially saw-tooth shaped and/or provided with (e.g. triangular) apertures 34.

    [0064] In various embodiments, at least part of the anchoring formations 32 may not have a corresponding triangular aperture 34. In various embodiments, the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may be provided with the teeth 19.

    [0065] In various embodiments, the anchoring formations 34 may form an angle with respect to the plane base body so as to confer an overall tapered shape to the anchoring assembly to which they belong.

    [0066] In various embodiments, the anchoring formations 32 (irrespective of whether solid or apertured) may be elastically deformable.

    [0067] In various embodiments, each of the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may be symmetrical with respect to a transverse axis X1 ("transverse" being in a direction substantially lying in the plane of the closed annular element 30 and orthogonal to the longitudinal axis X) and the anchoring formations 34 may have their radial extension increasing over a first angle α1 and then decreasing over a second angle α2, wherein the sum of the angles α1 + α2 may be equal to 180°. This may confer to the corresponding anchoring assembly 2, 4 (or both) a substantially D-shaped outline (in plan view), which renders the anchoring device 1 more easily adaptable to implantation sites such as, for example, the mitral valve annulus.

    [0068] In various embodiments, the sum of the angles α1 + α2 may be equal to 120°, so that three groups of anchoring formations, each extending over 120°, may be provided on the anchoring assemblies and confer thereto a substantially three-lobed outline (in plan view), which renders the anchoring device 1 more easily adaptable to implantation sites such as, for example, the pulmonary valve annulus or the tricuspid valve annulus.

    [0069] In various embodiments, adjacent anchoring formations 32 may be angularly spaced from each other thereby defining a crown of angular gaps.

    [0070] In various embodiments as exemplified in figures 7 and 7A, these angular gaps may provide a sort of interpenetration (i.e. intertwining) of the anchoring assemblies 2, 4. In other words, with reference to figure 7, at least one pair of complementary arched portions of the anchoring assemblies are configured according to the embodiments exemplified in figure 6, each anchoring formation 32 of one anchoring assembly will extend between two subsequent (and spaced apart) anchoring formations of the other anchoring assembly. The anchoring formation will thus interdigitate and impart to the native biological tissue secured (e.g. pinched) therebetween a substantially serpentine-like trajectory. Such serpentine-like trajectory may include, for example subsequent sinusoidal-like portions having a length in the range between 2 mm and 15 mm. The term "length" associated to the sinusoidal-like trajectory is used herein to indicate the "wavelength" of such sinusoidal-like trajectory, namely the distance between the free ends (e.g. the vertices) of two subsequent anchoring formations of an anchoring assembly (which is in the range between 2 and 15 mm as well), which substantially corresponds to subsequent peaks/valleys of the biological tissue.

    [0071] With reference to figures 9A, 9B, 9C, in various embodiments the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may be arranged so that at least one, preferably more than one, pair of anchoring formations 32 interdigitate and at least one, preferably more than one, pair of anchoring formations 32 form couples of co-operating extensions, i.e. they are substantially angularly aligned and do not interdigitate.

    [0072] In various embodiments the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 are configured so as to have a substantially D-shaped plan outline (as, for example, those exemplified in figures 7, 8A, 8B, 9A, 9C) which allows a better adaptation to the mitral valve annulus. Also, the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may be configured so that a group of anchoring formations 32 provided along a curved portion of such D-shaped outline (associated to a posterior cusp PC of the mitral valve) of each of the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 are arranged so as to be angularly aligned (i.e. they do not interdigitate) while another group of anchoring formations 32 provided along a straight portion of such D-shaped outline (associated to an anterior cusp AC of the mitral valve) of each anchoring assembly 2, 4 interdigitate.

    [0073] This arrangement is exemplified in the embodiments shown in figures 9A, 9B, wherein figure 9A shows a sectional view of the human heart and particularly of an implant site (that is, the mitral valve annulus). The view of the annulus is taken partly along a substantially curved trajectory so as to show the portions of biological tissue pinched between the anchoring assemblies 2, 4. The biological tissue pinched in the area of the anterior cusp AC has therefore a serpentine like trajectory, (figures 9A,9C), while the biological tissue pinched in the area of the posterior cusp PC has a substantially linear trajectory. With reference to figure 9C, in the area of the posterior cusp PC the contact between the anchoring formations may be mainly localized in corresponding of contact areas A, while in the area of the anterior cusp AC the contact may be mainly distributed over the interdigiting anchoring formations 32. Figure 9C shows a schematic representation of such condition.

    [0074] According to various embodiments, in the area of the anterior cusp AC, the biological tissue, due to the annulus characteristics and surgical preparation of the implant site, offers a larger gripping area than that in the area of the posterior cusp PC. The anchoring assemblies/formations may be more rigid in correspondence with the anterior cusp (where the formations interdigitate), while they may be more elastic in correspondence of the posterior cusp PC (where the formations do not interdigitate and are deformed to compensate the different stiffness or thickness of the tissue in the area of the posterior cusp PC).

    [0075] In various embodiments, the anchoring device 1 may include anchoring assemblies 2, 4 having different degrees of stiffness (i.e. one assembly stiffer than the other).

    [0076] Various embodiments may adopt a degree of stiffness varying along (i.e. over the annular extension of) each anchoring assembly.

    [0077] In various embodiments as exemplified in figure 6 (or figure 9) anchoring formations having differentiated flexural stiffness (i.e. with respect to bending with respect to the plane of the base body) may be provided, that is, with adjacent or subsequent anchoring formations have different flexural stiffness. In various embodiments, however, the stiffness variation may be "step-wise", that is with the degree of stiffness variable over the anchoring assembly while being constant along certain portions thereof.

    [0078] A differentiated degree of stiffness allows the anchoring assemblies to better adapt to the implantation site, e.g to allow for the thickness of the biological tissue trapped between the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 being uneven due to the anatomy of the implantation site and/or the method used to trap the tissue. Such unevenness may be counterbalanced by a differentiated flexural stiffness of the anchoring formations, which can be rendered more flexible e.g. in those areas where the biological tissue may be expected to be thicker.

    [0079] In various embodiments, the flexural stiffness of the anchoring formations 24, 32 may be varied according to the anatomy of the implantation site: for example, as previously excemplified, the flexural stiffness of the anchoring formations may be differentiated on the basis of their locations with respect to the implantation site, that is depending on whether the anchoring formations are located at the anterior cusp or at the posterior cusp of the native mitral valve.

    [0080] In various embodiments as exemplified in figures 8B and 10A-D, the anchoring formations 32 may be provided with tines or barbs 36.

    [0081] In various embodiments, the tines or barbs 36 may protrude radially inwardly of the corresponding anchoring assembly and/or may be located substantially in correspondence of a vertex C of the corresponding anchoring formations 32.

    [0082] In various embodiments, the tines or barbs 36 may protrude radially inwardly of the corresponding anchoring assembly in a plane different from the plane of the corresponding anchoring formation 32. In various embodiments, the tines or barbs 36 may protrude radially inwardly of the corresponding anchoring assembly in a substantially co-planar configuration with respect to the plane of the corresponding anchoring formation 32.

    [0083] In various embodiments as exemplified in figure 9, each anchoring formation 32 may be provided with a sting 36. In various embodiments, only some of the anchoring formations 32 may be provided with tines or barbs 36.

    [0084] In various embodiments as exemplified in figures 10B-D, the arrangement of the tines or barbs 36 may be vary and/or the tines or barbs may be replaced with similar members.

    [0085] In various embodiments as exemplified in figure 10B, at least some of the anchoring formations 32 may be provided with more than one tine or barb 36, for example three tines or barbs arranged as the vertices of a triangle.

    [0086] Irrespective of whether arranged in groups or singly on the anchoring formations 36, the tines or barbs may be configured to penetrate the biological tissue trapped between the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 thereby enhancing the stability of the anchoring device 1 at the implantation site.

    [0087] In various embodiments as exemplified in figure 10C, a plurality of saw-like teeth 38 may be provided around the outline of the anchoring formations 32 (i.e. along the struts surrounding the triangular aperture 34).

    [0088] In various embodiments as exemplified in figure 10D, a hook 39 may be provided at vertex C of at least some of the anchoring formations 32.

    [0089] Both the teeth 38 and the hooks 39 may be configured to penetrate into the biological tissue at the implantation in order to improve the stability of the anchoring device at the implantation site.

    [0090] In various embodiments, the arrangements and/or elements described above may be freely combined to meet specific needs, e.g. in the case of an implantation site requiring anchoring assemblies having different features at different locations.

    [0091] In various embodiments as exemplified in figures 11A-C, coupling of the anchoring assemblies to the connection structure 6 may be provided in different ways.

    [0092] In various embodiments as exemplified in figure 11A, the anchoring assembly 2 may be provided integral with the connection structure 6 while the anchoring assembly 4 may be provided as a separate element configured for the engagement within an annular groove G provided in the connection structure 6. In various embodiments, such a mutual arrangement may be reversed, that is with the anchoring assembly 4 integral with the connection structure 6 and the anchoring assembly 2 being a separate element.

    [0093] In various embodiments as exemplified in figure 11B, the anchoring assembly 2 may be provided integral with the connection structure 6 while the anchoring assembly 4 may be provided as a separate element configured to fit axially on the connection structure 6, supported by an abutment surface 41. The anchoring assembly 4 may then be fixedly attached to the connection structure 6 by means of a ring 42 (e.g. a ring nut or a deformable ring). Again, the mutual arrangement described may be reversed according to the needs.

    [0094] In various embodiments as exemplified in figure 11C, the anchoring assembly 2 may include a plurality of fingers 42 having a head 44 substantially shaped in a harpoon-like fashion. Each finger 42 may be configured to snap-engage a slot 46, which after the engagement defines an abutment surface for the head 44 which maintains the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 connected to one another. In that case the connection structure 6 may be provided by a circular array of fingers 42 protruding axially from the anchoring assembly 2.

    [0095] In various embodiments such an arrangement may be reversed by providing the fingers 42 on the assembly 4, while in various embodiments the fingers 42 may be provided partly on the assembly 2, and partly on the assembly 4. The prosthesis V may then be housed within a circular "cage" as created by the fingers 42.

    [0096] In various embodiments as exemplified in figures 12A-12B, the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may be provided as an annular continuum of radially protruding anchoring formations (figure 12A), while in other embodiments they may be arranged in separate sectors (defining the anchoring elements 20, 40) of adjacent anchoring formations, as shown in figure 12B. In other words, in various embodiments such as those exemplified in figure 12A the device 1 may include a one-by-one alternate arrangement of individual anchoring formations carried by one and the other of the complementary arched portions of the anchoring assemblies 2, 4, respectively. In other embodiments such as those exemplified in figure 12B, instead, the device 1 may include an alternate arrangement of groups of anchoring formations, such alternated groups being carried by one and the other of the complementary arched portions of the anchoring assemblies 2, 4, respectively.

    [0097] In various embodiments, the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may include a sealing member forming an impermeable surface coupled to at least one of the anchoring assemblies. In various embodiments, the sealing member may extend to cover the anchoring formations (e.g. the anchoring formations 16, 18, 24, 32) of the corresponding anchoring assembly 2, 4.

    [0098] In various embodiments such sealing member may be a sheath, preferable a textile sheath, F (illustrated in phantom line) vested onto at least one of the anchoring assemblies. Such sheath F may provide a sealing action (e.g. against blood leaks) between the anchoring device 1 and the implantation and may be configured to promote tissue covering (regrowth).

    [0099] In various embodiments, the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may exhibit a discontinuous structure (as exemplified in figure 12B) and the anchoring device 1 may be provided with a continuous fabric enclosure F to prevent blood leaks.

    [0100] In various embodiments as exemplified in figures 12C and 12D, sectors 20, 40 of the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may be arranged in an alternated fashion (figure 12C) or substantially overlapped (figure 12D).

    [0101] In various embodiments a combination of such arrangements may be provided, with the sectors 20, 40 at least partly overlapping.

    [0102] Figures 13 to 19 illustrate, purely by way of non-limiting example, a method for anchoring a cardiac valve prosthesis with a device according to one or more of the embodiments.

    [0103] While implantation as described herein refers by way of example to the mitral valve, it will be appreciated that the description applies independently of the implantation site. For example, the skilled artisan will recognize that the methods may apply to implanting a prosthetic valve, e.g., at the pulmonary valve annulus or the tricuspid valve annulus. Also, while implantation as described herein refers to an antegrade approach, this is not to be construed as limitative of the scope of the invention.

    [0104] With reference to figure 13, reference number 100 designates an instrument for positioning and securing to an implantation site an anchoring device according to one or more of the embodiments.

    [0105] The instrument 100 extends along a longitudinal axis H and may include a handle 102 fitted on a shaft 104 having a tubular element 106 slidably mounted thereon. A sleeve 108 may in turn be slidably mounted on the tubular element 106.

    [0106] In various embodiments as exemplified herein, the tubular element 106 carries a first gripping assembly including e.g. four fingers 111. The fingers 111 may be hinged to the tubular element 106 by "living" hinges L (see figure 16) which bias the fingers 111 away from the axis H. In addition to protruding axially, the fingers 111 may also protrude radially.

    [0107] The sleeve 108 may be configured to slide over the living hinges L and maintain the fingers 111 as close as possible to the axis H.

    [0108] A second gripping assembly 112 may be in turn be carried by the shaft 104. The gripping assembly 112 has a substantially fork-like arrangement including first and second gripping members 114, 116 each having a respective locking foot 118, 120.

    [0109] For reasons detailed below, one of the two locking members 114, 116 may be displaceable with respect the position illustrated in figure 10.

    [0110] With reference again to the example of figure 11, the anchoring device 1 may be installed on the instrument 100 in a partially disassembled configuration.

    [0111] In any of the embodiment previously described the second anchoring assembly 4 may be retained on the fingers 111 while the first anchoring assembly 2 may be installed on the connection structure 6, which houses the cardiac valve prosthesis. The gripping members 114, 116 may be engaged within the connection structure 6, which may be prevented from disengagement by means of the locking feet 118, 120.

    [0112] At the time the anchoring device 1 and the cardiac valve prosthesis V are mounted on the instrument 100, the tubular element 106, the distal sleeve 108 and the first gripping assembly 110 may be maintained in a proximal position, substantially adjacent to the handle 102, so that the second anchoring assembly may be axially separated with respect to the reminder of the anchoring device 1 (figure 13).

    [0113] It will be appreciated that, as used herein, "proximal" and "distal" refer to the structure of the instrument, with the handle 102 taken as the proximal reference.

    [0114] The instrument 100 (figure 14) may then be advanced to the implantation site to bring the elements of the anchoring device 1 carried by the second gripping assembly 112 on that part of the implantation site opposite to the elements carried by the first gripping assembly 110. The two separate portions of the anchoring device 1 carried by the instrument 100 will thus lie astride of the implantation site (e.g., the mitral valve annulus).

    [0115] With the second gripping assembly 112 positioned to cause the two portions of the anchoring device 1 to be positioned astride of the valve annulus and the first anchoring assembly 2 in contact with the walls of the implantation site, one or more portion of biological tissue at the implantation site may be trapped by the anchoring assembly 2, for example by the anchoring formations 24, 32.

    [0116] If the tines or barbs 36 or any of the teeth 38 and the hooks 39 are provided on the anchoring formations, the biological tissue may be fixed on the anchoring formation 2 by penetrating the tissue with the tines or barbs 36 (or the teeth 38/hooks 39).

    [0117] The tubular element 106 may be then be advanced along the shaft 104 (i.e., toward the distal end of the instrument) in order to couple the second anchoring assembly 4 on the connection structure 6.

    [0118] The tissue at the implantation side which was previously trapped on the first anchoring assembly 2 will now be firmly secured (e.g. pinched) by and between the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 coupled by means of the connection structure 6 (figure 15).

    [0119] As exemplified in figure 16, the sleeve 18 may be then retracted in a proximal direction in order to release the fingers 111 and let them spread apart due to the outward bias of the living hinges L. This will result in the fingers 111 being disengaged from the anchoring assembly 4.

    [0120] As exemplified in figure 17, the tubular element 106 may be retracted in a proximal direction away from the implant site.

    [0121] In various embodiments, the anchoring assembly 4 may be provided with an open ring structure, and the implantation procedure may be aborted by dilating the anchoring assembly 4 with a dilator tool in a way at least roughly similar to dilating so-called "Seeger" elastic rings in mechanics. The anchoring assembly 4 may be disengaged even if provided as a closed annular element by simply deforming and removing it.

    [0122] As exemplified in figure 18, disengagement of the second gripping assembly 112 from the device 1 and from the cardiac valve prosthesis V may be effected by displacing the gripping element 116 with respect to the gripping member 114. This may be achieved by rotation (here clockwise, see R) around an axis H', transversal the longitudinal axis H, which substantially results in a displacement of the foot 120 inwardly of the connection structure 6, so that the retaining action exerted thereon is released.

    [0123] The instrument 100 may then be removed by simply withdrawing it from the implantation site as the instrument 100 is no longer coupled to the anchoring device 1.

    [0124] The cardiac valve prosthesis V may be then fixed to the anchoring device 1 which is turn firmly anchored to the implantation site thanks to the pinching action exerted by the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 on the native biological tissue sandwiched (pinched) therebetween.

    [0125] Accordingly, the anchoring device 1 enables, sutureless implantation of the cardiac valve prosthesis V, which reduces the time required for the intervention (and the complexity thereof as well), to the advantage of the safety for the patient. No time-consuming suturing operations are required by the practitioner, since anchoring at the implantation site is achieved just by manipulating portions of biological tissue at the implantation site in order to trap the tissue between the anchoring formations 2, 4.

    [0126] In various embodiments, the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may be a metallic material including chrome-cobalt alloys (Cr-Co alloys), stainless steel, superelastic metal alloys or polymeric materials.

    [0127] In various embodiments, the stress-strain curve of the material of the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may be chosen to allow a correct entrapment of the portions of tissue even if the amount or thickness of the biological tissue being trapped may be uneven over the perimeter of the anchoring device. This may be achieved, for example, by using superelastic alloys (e.g. Nitinol).

    [0128] In various embodiments, the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may be of an expandable type (e.g. superelastic materials) thus permitting implantation of the device 1 together with the cardiac valve prosthesis V even percutaneously through the vascular system or via small incisions in the skin. In various embodiments, the anchoring assemblies 2, 4 may have a coating which may be bio and hemocompatible.

    [0129] Naturally, without departing from the principles of the invention, the details and the embodiments may vary, even significantly, with respect to what has been described and illustrated, without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the annexed claims.


    Claims

    1. A device (1) for anchoring on biological tissue a prosthetic heart valve (V), the device including first (2) and second (4) anchoring assemblies mutually couplable (6) to secure biological tissue therebetween, wherein said anchoring assemblies (2, 4) include at least one pair of complementary arched portions having anchoring formations (16, 18, 24, 32) for anchoring on said biological tissue, characterised in that said anchoring formations include extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) which are rigidly connected to said anchoring assemblies (2, 4) and extend radially outwardly from one (2) of said anchoring assemblies in an alternate arrangement with respect to corresponding extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) extending radially outwardly from the other (4) of said anchoring assemblies, whereby, with said anchoring assemblies (2, 4) mutually coupled to secure said biological tissue therebetween, the extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) in said complementary arched portions interdigitate.
     
    2. The device of claim 1, including an alternate arrangement of individual ones of said extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) on the one and the other of said complementary arched portions.
     
    3. The device of claim 1, including an alternate arrangement of groups of said extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) on the one and the other of said complementary arched portions.
     
    4. The device of any of the previous claims, wherein the extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) in said complementary arched portions impart to the biological tissue secured therebetween a serpentine trajectory, wherein said serpentine trajectory includes subsequent sinusoidal-like portions having a length in the range between 2 and 15 mm.
     
    5. The device of any of the previous claims, wherein said extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) are elastically deformable.
     
    6. The device of any of the previous claims, wherein in each said arched portions said extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) are bent towards the complementary arched portion.
     
    7. The device of any of the previous claims, wherein said extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) taper, preferably sawtooth-like, radially outwardly of said arched portions.
     
    8. The device of any of the previous claims, wherein at least a part of said extensions (18, 24, 32) have an apertured structure (18, 26, 34).
     
    9. The device of any of the previous claims, wherein, in at least one of said anchoring assemblies (2, 4), said extensions (32) have different lengths over different portions (α1, α2) of the respective anchoring assemblies (2, 4).
     
    10. The device of any of the previous claims, wherein at least one of said anchoring assemblies (2, 4) includes an annular base body (8, 14, 30) having said anchoring formations as integral extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) thereof.
     
    11. The device of claim 10, wherein said complementary arched portions extend over the whole of said anchoring assemblies (2, 4), whereby said anchoring formations form a crown of integral extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) surrounding said annular base body (8, 14, 30).
     
    12. The device of claim 10, wherein said complementary arched portions extend over respective portions of said anchoring assemblies (2, 4), whereby said anchoring formations include at least one angular sector (20, 40) of integral extensions of said annular base body.
     
    13. The device of any of the previous claims, including:

    - at least one said first pair of complementary arched portions having said alternate arrangement of extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) to interdigitate and impart to the biological tissue secured therebetween a serpentine-like trajectory; and

    - at least one said second pair of complementary arched portions having said extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) extending radially outwardly of one (2) of said anchoring assemblies in an aligned arrangement with respect to homologous extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) extending radially outwardly of the other (4) of said anchoring assemblies, whereby, with said anchoring assemblies (2, 4) mutually coupled to secure said biological tissue, the extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) in said second pair of complementary arched portions form couples of co-operating extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) securing therebetween said biological tissue in a linear trajectory.


     
    14. The device of any of the previous claims, wherein said anchoring assemblies (2, 4) have a substantially D-shaped plan outline.
     
    15. The device of claim 13 and claim 14, including:

    - at least one said first pair of complementary arched portions arranged at the linear portion of said D-shaped outline, and

    - at least one said second pair of complementary arched portions arranged at the curved portion of said D-shaped outline.


     
    16. The device of any of the previous claims, including a sealing member (F) forming an impermeable surface coupled to at least one of said anchoring assemblies (2, 4).
     
    17. The device of claim 16, wherein said sealing member is a sheath, preferably a textile sheath (F), vested onto at least one of said anchoring assemblies (2, 4).
     
    18. The device of claim 16 or claim 17, wherein said sealing member (F) extends to cover said extensions (16, 18, 24, 32).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Vorrichtung (1) zur Verankerung einer prothetischen Herzklappe (V) in biologischem Gewebe, die Vorrichtung umfassend erste (2) und zweite (4) Verankerungsanordnungen, die miteinander koppelbar (6) sind, um biologisches Gewebe zu sichern, wobei die besagten Verankerungsanordnungen (2, 4) wenigstens ein Paar von komplementär gebogenen Bereichen umfassen, die Verankerungselemente (16, 18, 24, 32) zur Verankerung in dem biologischen Gewebe aufweisen, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Verankerungselemente Fortsätze (16, 18, 24, 32) umfassen, die starr mit den Verankerungsanordnungen (2, 4) verbunden sind, und sich von einer (2) der besagten Verankerungsanordnungen radial nach außen erstrecken, in einer gegenüber korrespondierenden Fortsätzen (16, 18, 24, 32), die sich von der anderen (4) der besagten Verankerungsanordnungen radial nach außen erstrecken, alternierenden Anordnung, wobei sich die Fortsätze (16, 18, 24, 32) der besagten komplementären bogenförmigen Bereiche miteinander verzahnen, wenn die besagten Verankerungsanordnungen (2, 4) miteinander gekoppelt sind, um das besagte biologische Gewebe dazwischen zu sichern.
     
    2. Vorrichtung von Anspruch 1, umfassend eine alternierende Anordnung von Einzelnen der besagten Fortsätze (16, 18, 24, 32) an dem einen und an dem anderen besagten komplementär gebogenen Bereich.
     
    3. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, umfassend eine alternierende Anordnung von Gruppen der besagten Fortsätze (16, 18, 24, 32) an dem einen und dem anderen besagten komplementär gebogenen Bereich.
     
    4. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Fortsätze (16, 18, 24, 32) in den komplementär gebogenen Bereichen dem dazwischen gesicherten biologischen Gewebe eine schlangenartige Trajektorie aufprägen, wobei die besagte schlangenartige Trajektorie aufeinander folgende sinusförmige Abschnitte umfasst, die eine Länge im Bereich zwischen 2 und 15 mm haben.
     
    5. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die besagten Fortsätze (16, 18, 24, 32) elastisch deformierbar sind.
     
    6. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei in jedem besagten bogenförmigen Bereich die besagten Fortsätze (16, 18, 24, 32) in Richtung des komplementär gebogenen Bereichs gebogen sind.
     
    7. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei sich die besagten Fortsätze (16, 18, 24, 32) bevorzugt sägezahnartig radial nach außen der gebogenen Bereiche verjüngen.
     
    8. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei zumindest ein Teil der Fortsätze (18, 24, 32) eine offene Struktur (18, 26, 34) hat.
     
    9. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Fortsätze (32) in zumindest einer der Verankerungsanordnungen (2, 4) verschiedene Längen über verschiedene Bereiche (α1, α2) der betreffenden Verankerungsanordnung (2, 4) haben.
     
    10. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei wenigstens eine der Verankerungsanordnungen (2, 4) einen ringförmigen Grundkörper (8, 14, 30) aufweist, der die besagten Verankerungsbereiche als integrale Fortsätze (16, 18, 24, 32) von diesem aufweist.
     
    11. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 10, wobei sich die komplementär gebogenen Bereiche über die gesamten Verankerungsanordnungen (2, 4) erstrecken, wobei die Verankerungsbereiche eine den ringförmigen Grundkörper (8, 14, 30) umgebende Krone integraler Fortsätze (16, 18. 24, 32) bilden.
     
    12. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 10, wobei sich die komplementär gebogenen Bereiche über jeweilige Bereiche der Verankerungsanordnungen (2, 4) erstrecken, wobei die besagten Verankerungsbereiche wenigstens einen Winkelsektor (20, 40) integraler Fortsätze des besagten ringförmigen Grundkörpers umfassen.
     
    13. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, umfassend:

    - wenigstens ein besagtes erstes Paar komplementär gebogener Bereiche, welches die besagte alternierende Anordnung von Fortsätzen (16, 18, 24, 32) zum Verzahnen und Aufprägen einer serpentinenartigen Trajektorie auf dazwischen gesichertes biologisches Gewebe umfasst; und

    - wenigstens ein besagtes zweites Paar komplementär gebogener Bereiche, welches besagte Fortsätze (16, 18, 24, 32) aufweist, die sich von einer (2) der besagten Verankerungsanordnungen radial nach außen erstrecken, in einer ausgerichteten Anordnung in Bezug auf homologe Fortsätze (16, 18, 24, 32), die sich von der anderen (4) der besagten Verankerungsanordnungen radial nach außen erstrecken, wobei, wenn die besagten Verankerungsanordnungen (2, 4) miteinander gekoppelt sind, um besagtes biologisches Gewebe zu sichern, die Fortsätze (16, 18, 24, 32) in dem besagten zweiten Paar von komplementär gebogenen Bereichen Paare zusammenwirkender Fortsätze (16, 18, 24, 32) bilden, die dazwischen besagtes biologisches Gewebe in einer linearen Trajektorie sichern.


     
    14. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die besagten Verankerungsanordnungen (2, 4) einen im Wesentlichen D-förmigen Umriss haben.
     
    15. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 13 und Anspruch 14, umfassend

    - wenigstens ein besagtes erstes Paar von komplementär gebogenen Bereichen, das an dem linearen Abschnitt des D-förmigen Umrisses angeordnet ist, und

    - wenigstens ein besagtes zweites Paar von komplementär gebogenen Bereichen, das an dem gebogenen Abschnitt des D-förmigen Umrisses angeordnet ist.


     
    16. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, umfassend ein Dichtungselement (F), das eine undurchlässige Fläche bildet, die mit wenigstens einer von den besagten Verankerungsanordnungen (2, 4) gekoppelt ist.
     
    17. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 16, wobei das Dichtungselement eine Hülle, bevorzugt eine textile Hülle (F) ist, die wenigstens eine der besagten Verankerungsanordnungen (2, 4) bekleidet.
     
    18. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 16 oder Anspruch 17, wobei das Dichtelement (F) sich derart erstreckt, dass es die Fortsätze (16, 18, 24, 32) bedeckt.
     


    Revendications

    1. Dispositif (1) pour ancrer, sur un tissu biologique, une valve cardiaque prothétique (V), le dispositif comportant :

    des premier (2) et deuxième (4) ensembles d'ancrage pouvant être mutuellement couplés (6) pour fixer le tissu biologique entre ceux-ci, où lesdits ensembles d'ancrage (2, 4) comportent au moins une paire de parties arquées complémentaires ayant des formations d'ancrage (16, 18, 24, 32) pour s'ancrer sur ledit tissu biologique, caractérisé en ce que lesdites formations d'ancrage comportent des extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) qui sont reliées de manière rigide auxdits ensembles d'ancrage (2, 4) et s'étendent radialement vers l'extérieur à partir d'un ensemble (2) desdits ensembles d'ancrage dans un agencement alterné par rapport aux extensions correspondantes (16, 18, 24, 32) s'étendant radialement vers l'extérieur à partir de l'autre ensemble (4) desdits ensembles d'ancrage, moyennant quoi les extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) dans lesdites parties arquées complémentaires s'imbriquent avec lesdits ensembles d'ancrage (2, 4) mutuellement couplés pour fixer ledit tissu biologique entre ceux-ci.


     
    2. Dispositif de la revendication 1, comportant un agencement alternatif d'extensions individuelles desdites extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) sur l'une et l'autre desdites parties arquées complémentaires.
     
    3. Dispositif de la revendication 1, comportant un agencement alternatif de groupes desdites extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) sur l'une et l'autre desdites parties arquées complémentaires.
     
    4. Dispositif de l'une des revendications précédentes, dans lequel les extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) dans lesdites parties arquées complémentaires confèrent au tissu biologique fixé entre celles-ci une trajectoire en serpentin, où ladite trajectoire en serpentin comporte des parties en forme sinusoïdale consécutives ayant une longueur se trouvant dans la plage allant de 2 à 15 mm.
     
    5. Dispositif de l'une des revendications précédentes, dans lequel lesdites extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) sont élastiquement déformables.
     
    6. Dispositif de l'une des revendications précédentes, dans lequel, dans chacune desdites parties arquées, lesdites extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) sont pliées vers la partie arquée complémentaire.
     
    7. Dispositif de l'une des revendications précédentes, dans lequel lesdites extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) s'effilent, de préférence en dents de scie, radialement vers l'extérieur desdites parties arquées.
     
    8. Dispositif de l'une des revendications précédentes, dans lequel au moins une partie desdites extensions (18, 24, 32) a une structure perforée (18, 26, 34).
     
    9. Dispositif de l'une des revendications précédentes, dans lequel, dans au moins l'un desdits ensembles d'ancrage (2, 4), lesdites extensions (32) ont des différentes longueurs sur des différentes parties (α1, α2) des ensembles d'ancrage respectifs (2, 4).
     
    10. Dispositif de l'une des revendications précédentes, dans lequel au moins l'un desdits ensembles d'ancrage (2, 4) comporte un corps de base annulaire (8, 14, 30) ayant lesdites formations d'ancrage en tant qu'extensions monobloc (16, 18, 24, 32) de celui-ci.
     
    11. Dispositif de la revendication 10, dans lequel lesdites parties arquées complémentaires s'étendent sur la totalité desdits ensembles d'ancrage (2, 4), moyennant quoi lesdites formations d'ancrage forment une couronne d'extensions monobloc (16, 18, 24, 32) entourant ledit corps de base annulaire (8, 14, 30).
     
    12. Dispositif de la revendication 10, dans lequel lesdites parties arquées complémentaires s'étendent sur des parties respectives desdits ensembles d'ancrage (2, 4), moyennant quoi lesdites formations d'ancrage comportent au moins un secteur angulaire (20, 40) d'extensions monobloc dudit corps de base annulaire.
     
    13. Dispositif de l'une des revendications précédentes, comportant :

    - au moins ladite première paire de parties arquées complémentaires ayant ledit agencement alternatif d'extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) pour s'imbriquer et conférer au tissu biologique fixé entre celles-ci une trajectoire en serpentin ; et

    - au moins ladite deuxième paire de parties arquées complémentaires ayant lesdites extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) s'étendant radialement vers l'extérieur à partir d'un ensemble (2) desdits ensembles d'ancrage dans un agencement aligné par rapport aux extensions homologues (16, 18, 24 , 32) s'étendant radialement vers l'extérieur à partir de l'autre ensemble (4) desdits ensembles d'ancrage, moyennant quoi, avec lesdits ensembles d'ancrage (2, 4) mutuellement couplés pour fixer ledit tissu biologique, les extensions (16, 18, 24, 32) dans ladite deuxième paire de parties arquées complémentaires forment des couples d'extensions coopérantes (16, 18, 24, 32) fixant entre celles-ci ledit tissu biologique dans une trajectoire linéaire.


     
    14. Dispositif de l'une des revendications précédentes, dans lequel lesdits ensembles d'ancrage (2, 4) ont un contour plan essentiellement en forme de D.
     
    15. Dispositif des revendications 13 et 14, comportant :

    - au moins ladite première paire de parties arquées complémentaires agencées au niveau de la partie linéaire dudit contour en forme de D, et

    - au moins ladite deuxième paire de parties arquées complémentaires agencées au niveau de la partie incurvée dudit contour en forme de D.


     
    16. Dispositif de l'une des revendications précédentes, comportant un élément d'étanchéité (F) formant une surface imperméable couplée à au moins l'un desdits ensembles d'ancrage (2, 4).
     
    17. Dispositif de la revendication 16, dans lequel ledit élément d'étanchéité est une gaine, de préférence une gaine textile (F), appliquée sur au moins l'un desdits ensembles d'ancrage (2, 4).
     
    18. Dispositif de la revendication 16 ou 17, dans lequel ledit élément d'étanchéité (F) s'étend pour couvrir lesdites extensions (16, 18, 24, 32).
     




    Drawing
















































    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description