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A Pulsatile Bioreactor for Conditioning of Tissue-Engineered Cardiovascular Constructs under Endoscopic Visualization
Chair of Medical Engineering, Technical University Munich, Boltzmannstrasse 15, Garching 85748, Germany
Department of Cardiac Surgery, Medical Center Munich University, Marchioninistr. 15, Munich 81377, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 May 2012; in revised form: 27 June 2012 / Accepted: 9 July 2012 / Published: 19 July 2012
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
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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.
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. Journal of Functional Biomaterials. 2012; 3(3):480-496.
König, Fabian; Hollweck, Trixi; Pfeifer, Stefan; Reichart, Bruno; Wintermantel, Erich; Hagl, Christian; Akra, Bassil. 2012. "A Pulsatile Bioreactor for Conditioning of Tissue-Engineered Cardiovascular Constructs under Endoscopic Visualization." J. Funct. Biomater. 3, no. 3: 480-496.