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Ann Thorac Surg. 2015 Jun;99(6):2183-7. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2015.02.058.

A Hybrid Tissue-Engineered Heart Valve.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California.
2
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California. Electronic address: arashkh@uci.edu.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study describes the efforts to develop and test the first hybrid tissue-engineered heart valve whose leaflets are composed of an extra-thin superelastic Nitinol mesh tightly enclosed by uniform tissue layers composed of multiple cell types.

DESCRIPTION:

The trileaflet Nitinol mesh scaffolds underwent three-dimensional cell culture with smooth muscle and fibroblast/myofibroblast cells enclosing the mesh, which were finally covered by an endothelial cell layer.

EVALUATION:

Quantitative and qualitative assays were performed to analyze the microstructure of the tissues. A tissue composition almost similar to that of natural heart valve leaflets was observed. The function of the valves and their Nitinol scaffolds were tested in a heart flow simulator that confirmed the trileaflet valves open and close robustly under physiologic flow conditions with an effective orifice area of 75%. The tissue-metal attachment of the leaflets once exposed to physiologic flow rates was tested and approved.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our preliminary results indicate that the novel hybrid approach with nondegradable scaffold for engineering heart valves is viable and may address the issues associated with current tissue-engineered valves developed with degradable scaffolds.

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