Robert L. Kaster
Biography of Robert L. Kaster
Robert L. Kaster, an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Minnesota in 1951, became interested in prosthetic heart valves when he began working in the laboratory of Dr Lillehei. In 1965, he saw the deficiencies of the Cruz valve, developed by Anatolio B. Cruz in 1963. The problem with this valve was to eliminate stasis behind the open valve. In collaboration with Dr. Bokros, he found that Pylorite would be a good material for a new valve. When he moved to New York Cornell Medical Center in 1967 to work with Lillehei, he continued the development of a pivoting disc valve that had no hinges, the pivoting disc free to rotate as it opened and closed. This became what is now well known as the Lillehei-Kaster prosthesis or valve. His new valve was first implanted in 1970.