A new construction technique for tissue-engineered heart valves using the self-assembly method

Authors: Tremblay, CatherineRuel, JeanBourget, Jean-MichelLaterreur, VéroniqueVallières, KarineTondreau, MaximeLacroix, DanGermain, LucieAuger, François A.
Abstract: Tissue engineering appears as a promising option to create new heart valve substitutes able to overcome the serious drawbacks encountered with mechanical substitutes or tissue valves. The objective of this article is to present the construction method of a new entirely biological stentless aortic valve using the self-assembly method and also a first assessment of its behavior in a bioreactor when exposed to a pulsatile flow. A thick tissue was created by stacking several fibroblast sheets produced with the self-assembly technique. Different sets of custom-made templates were designed to confer to the thick tissue a three-dimensional (3D) shape similar to that of a native aortic valve. The construction of the valve was divided in two sequential steps. The first step was the installation of the thick tissue in a flat preshaping template followed by a 4-week maturation period. The second step was the actual cylindrical 3D forming of the valve. The microscopic tissue structure was assessed using histological cross sections stained with Masson's Trichrome and Picrosirius Red. The thick tissue remained uniformly populated with cells throughout the construction steps and the dense extracellular matrix presented corrugated fibers of collagen. This first prototype of tissue-engineered heart valve was installed in a bioreactor to assess its capacity to sustain a light pulsatile flow at a frequency of 0.5 Hz. Under the light pulsed flow, it was observed that the leaflets opened and closed according to the flow variations. This study demonstrates that the self-assembly method is a viable option for the construction of complex 3D shapes, such as heart valves, with an entirely biological material.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 3 April 2014
Open Access Date: Restricted access
Document version: VoR
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/16846
This document was published in: Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods, Vol. 20 (11), 905-915 (2014)
Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society
Alternative version: 10.1089/ten.tec.2013.0698
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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