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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2015 Sep;103(9):3101-6. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.35450. Epub 2015 Mar 27.

Fabrication of elastomeric scaffolds with curvilinear fibrous structures for heart valve leaflet engineering.

Author information

1
Bioengineering and Surgery, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
2
Department of Bioengineering.
3
Department of Surgery.
4
Department of Biomedical Engineering, the University of Akron, Ohio.
5
Department of Bioengineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, 76019.
6
Foundation RiMED, Palermo, Italy.
7
DICGIM, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
8
Center for Cardiovascular Simulation, Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, Department of Biomedical Engineering and the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas.
9
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Abstract

Native semi-lunar heart valves are composed of a dense fibrous network that generally follows a curvilinear path along the width of the leaflet. Recent models of engineered valve leaflets have predicted that such curvilinear fiber orientations would homogenize the strain field and reduce stress concentrations at the commissure. In the present work, a method was developed to reproduce this curvilinear fiber alignment in electrospun scaffolds by varying the geometry of the collecting mandrel. Elastomeric poly(ester urethane)urea was electrospun onto rotating conical mandrels of varying angles to produce fibrous scaffolds where the angle of fiber alignment varied linearly over scaffold length. By matching the radius of the conical mandrel to the radius of curvature for the native pulmonary valve, the electrospun constructs exhibited a curvilinear fiber structure similar to the native leaflet. Moreover, the constructs had local mechanical properties comparable to conventional scaffolds and native heart valves. In agreement with prior modeling results, it was found under quasi-static loading that curvilinear fiber microstructures reduced strain concentrations compared to scaffolds generated on a conventional cylindrical mandrels. Thus, this simple technique offers an attractive means for fabricating scaffolds where key microstructural features of the native leaflet are imitated for heart valve tissue engineering.

KEYWORDS:

cardiac valve; electrospinning; microstructure; polyurethane; tissue engineering

PMID:
25771748
PMCID:
PMC4520741
DOI:
10.1002/jbm.a.35450
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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