Measuring Forces in a Beating Heart
The human heart valve that prevents blood flow back to the lungs is called the mitral valve. This valve operates under the highest forces of any of the four valves in the heart. Rapid prototyping was used to manufacture both flat and saddle-shaped annuloplasty rings. Strain gauges were mounted in four locations around the rings and then calibrated against force. A frequency response test was also performed to ensure they would not significantly affect the natural valve operation.
See the complete case study at this link.