What is the purpose of this study?
The purpose of this study was to develop a tri-leaflet heart valve structure that could serve as a promising, viable, biocompatible, and durable alternative to traditional bioprosthetic and mechanical heart valve replacements. The goal of such a heart valve is to mimic in vivo biological and physiological functions, which would eventually lead to the integration of the valve into the patient’s native tissue. Three tissue engineered polymeric scaffolds, PCL, PLLA, and a combo PCL-PLLA, were evaluated for their mechanical properties, such as stiffness and deformation, and hemodynamic compatibility under in vitro physiological conditions.
What was Aptus Bioreactors involvement in this study?
The researchers at Qatar University used Aptus Bioreactors’ Pulse Duplicator System (Heart Valve Bioreactor) to test and validate the performance of their engineered heart valves compared to commercially available valves. The Heart Valve Bioreactor was equipped with specifically designed sinuses, leaflets, and holders to optimize the engineered heart valve and enhance optical visibility. It was then programmed to produce clinically relevant hemodynamic conditions, such as a heart rate of 70 bpm with a systolic pressure of 20 mmHg, and to monitor the upstream valve (outlet) pressure, downstream valve (inlet) pressure, and flow rate.
The “developed in vitro test protocol involving [the] pulse duplicator [has an] enormous potential for routine application in tissue engineering of heart valves.”
What were the results of this study?
The results showed that PCL has higher stiffness and better mechanical properties compared to PLLA, while PLLA offers a greater potential for cellular adherence. Therefore, the combination of PCL, for its stiffness and strength, and PLLA, for its compliance and cell-adherence properties, resulted in a scaffold with properties “suitable for applications in heart valve tissue engineering”.
To read the full article:
Fabrication and In Vitro Characterization of a Tissue Engineered PCL-PLLA Heart Valve
By: Madeline Blankenship