Our Story


Why We are Here

A living heart valve replacement could change the prognosis for millions of children and young adults around the world living with heart valve disease. Instead of undergoing open heart surgery every 10-15 years or balancing lifelong blood-thinning medication, their own stem cells and an off-the-shelf scaffold could be used to build a new heart valve that would grow in size with them, providing a life-long, personalized, and maintenance-free solution. However, most researchers are unable to test and develop such a tissue engineered product due to lack of access to bench-top equipment that can effectively re-create cardiovascular conditions experienced by the heart valves. Until this point, researchers have had to choose between purchasing an inadequate, commercially-available system, spending time and resources to develop a prototype in-house, or proceeding straight to expensive and high-risk large animal studies.

What We Do

Pulling from over a decade of bioreactor design experience and tissue-engineering research, Aptus Bioreactors was formed to fill this gap. We offer systems and processes that reach and exceed the relevant bodily conditions, are customized to meet each researcher’s specific needs, and allow researchers to test and grow all types, shapes, and sizes of heart valves. The independently-controlled systems can also test many other cardiovascular devices, replace early-stage animal studies, and promise a scalable manufacturing solution. These unique tools for developing and manufacturing tissue-engineered heart valve replacements are protected by three issued utility patents and multiple additional patent applications, for which Aptus Bioreactors has secured exclusive licensing rights.

Where We Are Headed

The vision for Aptus Bioreactors reaches well beyond additional bioreactor and component sales. Dr. Lee Sierad wishes to fuel a great transformation of healthcare’s existing solution for failing tissues by pioneering a regenerative medicine approach to replacing heart valves and blood vessels. When the valves and blood vessels are ready for clinical use, Aptus Bioreactors will have the bioreactor systems, commercial collaborations, and clinical access to grow each living specimen and deliver it to the surgeon for implantation into the patient. We want to help achieve the vision of “One Surgery, for Life” so hospital costs, health risks, and other burdens of repeat surgeries can be eliminated. More importantly, we want children and young adults to have the extended life a healthy body was designed to live.

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