Issues with Biologic and Mechanical Heart Valves
Tissue-equivalent cardiovascular valves
provide a safer, biocompatible valve replacement therapy that is also
suitable for use in children. While both mechanical and biologic
replacement heart valves have been used to treat this problem, the
complication rate is high, particularly in pediatric patients, where
current replacement valves are not able to grow with the child.
Valvular heart disease occurs in an estimated 2.5% of the population in the US due to congenital heart defects and the aging population; many of these patients require heart valves be replaced.
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Tissue-Equivalent Heart Valves
A method has been developed for the fabrication of a tissue-engineered multi-leaflet cardiovascular valve. The leaflets’ collagen (or fibrin) fibrils are circumferentially aligned as seen in native leaflets. The alignment mimics the native alignment and provides a "template for remodeling" upon implantation. Fibrillar biopolymer gel and tissue cells are used to create the valve, allowing the valve to grow with the patient without the risk of rejection seen in non-biocompatible devices.
BENEFITS OF TISSUE-EQUIVALENT HEART VALVES:
- Safer valve replacement with fewer complications and a lower mortality rate
- Valve has a template for remodeling when placed within patient
- Valve can grow with patient, suitable for use in juveniles