A Tri-Leaflet Nitinol Mesh Scaffold for Engineering Heart Valves
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- Alavi, S.H., Soriano Baliarda, M., Bonessio, N. et al. Ann Biomed Eng (2017) 45: 413. doi:10.1007/s10439-016-1778-0
The epidemiology of valvular heart disease has significantly changed in the past few decades with aging as one of the main contributing factors. The available options for replacement of diseased valves are currently limited to mechanical and bioprosthetic valves, while the tissue engineered ones that are under study are currently far from clinical approval. The main problem with the tissue engineered heart valves is their progressive deterioration that leads to regurgitation and/or leaflet thickening a few months after implantation. The use of bioresorbable scaffolds is speculated to be one factor affecting these valves’ failure. We have previously developed a non-degradable superelastic nitinol mesh scaffold concept that can be used for heart valve tissue engineering applications. It is hypothesized that the use of a non-degradable superelastic nitinol mesh may increase the durability of tissue engineered heart valves, avoid their shrinkage, and accordingly prevent regurgitation. The current work aims to study the effects of the design features on mechanical characteristics of this valve scaffold to attain proper function prior to in vivo implantation.