Tissue-Engineered Fibrin-Based Heart Valve with Bio-Inspired Textile Reinforcement

Ricardo Moreira, Christine Neusser, Magnus Kruse, Shane Mulderrig, Frederic Wolf, Jan Spillner, Thomas Schmitz-Rode, Stefan Jockenhoevel*, Petra Mela*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The mechanical properties of tissue-engineered heart valves still need to be improved to enable their implantation in the systemic circulation. The aim of this study is to develop a tissue-engineered valve for the aortic position - the BioTexValve - by exploiting a bio-inspired composite textile scaffold to confer native-like mechanical strength and anisotropy to the leaflets. This is achieved by multifilament fibers arranged similarly to the collagen bundles in the native aortic leaflet, fixed by a thin electrospun layer directly deposited on the pattern. The textile-based leaflets are positioned into a 3D mould where the components to form a fibrin gel containing human vascular smooth muscle cells are introduced. Upon fibrin polymerization, a complete valve is obtained. After 21 d of maturation by static and dynamic stimulation in a custom-made bioreactor, the valve shows excellent functionality under aortic pressure and flow conditions, as demonstrated by hydrodynamic tests performed according to ISO standards in a mock circulation system. The leaflets possess remarkable burst strength (1086 mmHg) while remaining pliable; pronounced extracellular matrix production is revealed by immunohistochemistry and biochemical assay. This study demonstrates the potential of bio-inspired textile-reinforcement for the fabrication of functional tissue-engineered heart valves for the aortic position.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2113-2121
JournalAdvanced Healthcare Materials
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2016


  • aortic valve
  • hydrodynamic performance
  • replacement
  • textile reinforcement
  • tissue-engineering


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