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J. Funct. Biomater. 2012, 3(3), 480-496; doi:10.3390/jfb3030480
Article

A Pulsatile Bioreactor for Conditioning of Tissue-Engineered Cardiovascular Constructs under Endoscopic Visualization

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Received: 23 May 2012 / Revised: 27 June 2012 / Accepted: 9 July 2012 / Published: 19 July 2012
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Abstract

Heart valve disease (HVD) is a globally increasing problem and accounts for thousands of deaths yearly. Currently end-stage HVD can only be treated by total valve replacement, however with major drawbacks. To overcome the limitations of conventional substitutes, a new clinical approach based on cell colonization of artificially manufactured heart valves has been developed. Even though this attempt seems promising, a confluent and stable cell layer has not yet been achieved due to the high stresses present in this area of the human heart. This study describes a bioreactor with a new approach to cell conditioning of tissue engineered heart valves. The bioreactor provides a low pulsatile flow that grants the correct opening and closing of the valve without high shear stresses. The flow rate can be regulated allowing a steady and sensitive conditioning process. Furthermore, the correct functioning of the valve can be monitored by endoscope surveillance in real-time. The tubeless and modular design allows an accurate, simple and faultless assembly of the reactor in a laminar flow chamber. It can be concluded that the bioreactor provides a strong tool for dynamic pre-conditioning and monitoring of colonized heart valve prostheses physiologically exposed to shear stress.
Keywords: bioreactor; tissue engineering; dynamic cell conditioning; heart valve disease bioreactor; tissue engineering; dynamic cell conditioning; heart valve disease
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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König, F.; Hollweck, T.; Pfeifer, S.; Reichart, B.; Wintermantel, E.; Hagl, C.; Akra, B. A Pulsatile Bioreactor for Conditioning of Tissue-Engineered Cardiovascular Constructs under Endoscopic Visualization. J. Funct. Biomater. 2012, 3, 480-496.

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J. Funct. Biomater. EISSN 2079-4983 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert