Tissue-engineered valves with commissural alignment

Michael R. Neidert, Robert T Tranquillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present a novel approach to producing bioartificial valves using the tissue-equivalent method of entrapping cells within a biopolymer gel and using a mold design that presents appropriate mechanical constraints to the cell-induced gel compaction to yield both the fibril alignment and the geometry of a native valve. Bileaflet valves were fabricated from bovine collagen and neonatal human dermal fibroblasts as proof of principle. The resultant valves possessed both commissure-to-commissure alignment of collagen fibers in the leaflets and circumferential alignment in the root. While this alignment was manifested in planar biaxial tensile mechanical properties, histology of the leaflets revealed an aligned collagen matrix but lacking other extracellular matrix (ECM) components present in the native valve. The apparent lack of ECM production by the fibroblasts after contracting and aligning the collagen fibrils is consistent with peak loads during biaxial testing being only ∼10% of native leaflet values and a 0:1 coupling index that was only ∼50% of native leaflet values despite exhibiting comparable values for the anisotropy index.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)891-903
Number of pages13
JournalTissue Engineering
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006

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