Tissue engineered lamb heart valve leaflets (N - 3) were constructed by repeatedly seeding a concentrated suspension of autologous myofibroblasts onto a biodegradable synthetic polymeric scaffold composed of fibers made from polyglycolic acid and polylactic acid. Over a 2-week period the cells attached to the polymer fibers, multiplied, and formed a tissue core in the shape of the matrix. The tissue core was seeded with autologous large-vessel endothelial cells that formed a monolayer which coated the outer surface of the leaflet. The tissue engineered leaflets were surgically implanted in place of the right posterior pulmonary valve leaflet of the donor lamb while on cardiopulmonary bypass. Pulmonary valve function was evaluated by two-dimensional echocardiography with color Doppler which demonstrated valve function without evidence of stenosis and with only trivial regurgitation under normal physiologic conditions. Histologically, the tissue engineered heart valve leaflets resembled native valve leaflet tissue.
Last updated on 09/29/2017
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