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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

1,†
,
2,†
,
1
,
2
,
1
,
2
 and
2,*
1 Chair of Medical Engineering, Technical University Munich, Boltzmannstrasse 15, Garching 85748, Germany 2 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 / 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 (CC BY 3.0).
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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