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Artif Organs. 2014 Apr;38(4):282-9. doi: 10.1111/aor.12173. Epub 2013 Nov 14.

In vitro evaluation of a novel autologous aortic valve (biovalve) with a pulsatile circulation circuit.

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Department of Artificial Organs, National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center Research Institute, Suita, Osaka, Japan.


We have used in-body tissue architecture technology to develop an autologous valved conduit with intact sinuses of Valsalva (biovalve). In this study, we fabricated three different forms of biovalves and evaluated their function in vitro using a mock circulation model to determine the optimal biovalve form for aortic valve replacement. A cylindrical mold for biovalve organization was placed in a dorsal subcutaneous pouch of a goat, and the implant that was encapsulated with connective tissue was extracted 2 months later. The cylindrical mold was removed to obtain the biovalve (16 mm inside diameter) that consisted of pure connective tissue. The biovalve was connected to a pulsatile mock circulation system in the aortic valve position. The function of the three biovalves (biovalve A: normal leaflets with the sinuses of Valsalva; biovalve B: extended leaflets with the sinuses of Valsalva; biovalve C: extended leaflets without the sinuses of Valsalva) was examined under pulsatile flow conditions using saline. In addition, the mock circuit was operated continuously for 40 days to evaluate the durability of biovalve C. The regurgitation rate (expressed as a percent of the mean aortic flow rate during diastole) was 46% for biovalve A but only 3% for biovalves B and C. The durability test demonstrated that even after biovalve C pulsated more than four million times (heart rate, 70 bpm; mean flow rate, 5.0 L/min; mean aortic pressure, 92 mm Hg), stable continuous operation was possible without excessive reduction of the flow rate or bursting. The developed biovalve demonstrated good function and durability in this initial in vitro study.


Aortic valve; Autologous tissue; Biovalve; Heart valve; Pulsatile circulation circuit; Tissue engineering

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