Tissue engineering of aortic heart valves

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See article by Schenke-Layland et al. (pages 497–509) in this issue. 1. Introduction Valve replacement is the most common surgical procedure in patients with advanced valvular heart disease [1]. Extensive experience has been gained with mechanical and decellularized biological valve prostheses since their clinical implementation in 1965 [2]. In the year 2000, 87,000 valve replacement procedures were performed in the US (www.americanheart.org). Despite its indisputable clinical value, currently employed concepts are hampered by thromboembolic complications, infections, limited durability, and lack of growth potential. Tissue engineering approaches hold the promise of generating completely biological, autologous “living” valves with functional features of their native counterparts that may overcome the present limitations [3,4]. Two main concepts are being pursued in tissue engineering of heart valves: (i) engineering of completely artificial valves from biocompatible and degradable synthetic polymers or biomaterials [5–7] and (ii) decellularization of native heart valves from xenogeneic/allogeneic donors [8–10], an extension of clinically employed biological valves. A drawback of purely (bio-)material-based approaches is the pronounced thrombogenicity of the currently employed polymers and biological matrix components. Seeding of the entire thrombogenic surfaces with endothelial cells would possibly solve this problem but is severely compromised by cell detachment, especially under high pressure aortic flow conditions. Another crucial issue in cardiac valve engineering is the design of stable, strain-resistant and at the same time pliable constructs with functional … *Corresponding author. Tel.: +49-40-42803-3180; fax: +49-40-42803-4876. Email address: w.zimmermann{at}uke.uni-hamburg.de




Zimmermann, W. H., & Eschenhagen, T. (2003, December 1). Tissue engineering of aortic heart valves. Cardiovascular Research, 60(3), 460–462. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cardiores.2003.10.007

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