Abbott Structural Heart Division was founded in April, 2016 by acquiring St. Jude Medical. St. Jude Medical was founded in 1976 to further develop bi-leaflet artificial heart valves, which were originally created in 1972 at the University of Minnesota. The company was named after Jude the Apostle, the patron saint of lost causes.
In October 1977, Dr. Nicoloff implanted the company's first artificial heart valve in a human patient. St. Jude Medical's new heart valve was coated in pyrolytic carbon, which helped the valve prevent blood clotting.
The Abbott portfolio of structural heart solutions has expanded significantly in recent years, featuring products to treat the broad spectrum of structural heart disease (SHD)—encompassing both congenital heart defects and acquired conditions, such as valvular heart disease.
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