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.
- aortic valve
- hydrodynamic performance
- textile reinforcement
Moreira, R., Neusser, C., Kruse, M., Mulderrig, S., Wolf, F., Spillner, J., Schmitz-Rode, T., Jockenhoevel, S., & Mela, P. (2016). Tissue-Engineered Fibrin-Based Heart Valve with Bio-Inspired Textile Reinforcement. Advanced Healthcare Materials, 5(16), 2113-2121. https://doi.org/10.1002/adhm.201600300