Biography of Bhagavant Kalke
Bhagavant Kalke, a surgical resident from India, worked with C. Walton Lillei at the at the University of Minnesota. In 1965 he proposed to Lillehei a design based on the configuration of irrigation dams from Dr. Kalke's native India. Together Lillehei and Kalke developed a valve with two leaflets, hinged at the top and bottom to allow them to open and close with the flow of blood. Laboratory test showed that this valve showed the best hydrodynamic performance Lillehei had witnessed.
However, the only patient to receive this valve, in 1968, died two days after surgery, but the cause of death was not established. The Lillehei-Kalke bilieaflet prosthesis was the forerunner of the St. Jude prosthesis, which is widely implanted heart valve in the world.