Umbilical cord as human cell source for mitral valve tissue engineering - venous vs. arterial cells

Axel Malischewski, Ricardo Moreira, Luis Hurtado, Valentine Gesche, Thomas Schmitz-Rode, Stefan Jockenhoevel*, Petra Mela*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Web of Science)


Around 2% of the population in developed nations are affected by mitral valve disease and available valvular replacements are not designed for the atrioventricular position. Recently our group developed the first tissue-engineered heart valve (TEHV) specifically designed for the mitral position - the TexMi valve. The valve recapitulates the main components of the native valve, i.e. annulus, asymmetric leaflets and the crucial chordae tendineae. In the present study, we evaluated the human umbilical cord as a clinically applicable cell source for the TexMi valve. Valves produced with cells isolated from human umbilical cord veins (HUVs) and human umbilical cord arteries (HUAs) were conditioned for 21 days in custom-made bioreactors and evaluated in terms of extracellular matrix (ECM) composition and mechanical properties. In addition, static cell-laden fibrin discs were molded to investigate cell-mediated tissue contraction and differences in ECM production. HUA and HUV cells were able to deliver functional valves with a rich ECM composed mainly of collagen. Particularly noteworthy was the synthesis of elastin, which has been observed rarely in TEHV. The elastin synthesis was significantly higher in TexMi valves produced with HUV cells and therefore the HUV is considered to be the preferred cell source.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-466
JournalBiomedizinische Technik
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • elastin
  • elastogenesis
  • extracellular matrix
  • fibrin
  • scaffold

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