Researchers have created a new prosthetic heart valve intended to closely mimic the functionality and properties of natural heart valves, according to a study posted to Science Translational Medicine.
Investigators in the study hope the new valve will help overcome issues that have held back previous tissue-engineered heart valves.
The valve, designed from polymer scaffolds seeded with vascular cells and allowed to grow in a bioreactor culture, was decellularized and implanted in a transcatheter procedure in an animal test.
Researchers monitored the valve for a year across 11 separate implantations, and found that after 12 months, nine of the grafts remained operational.
The valves were well preserved and exhibited “long-term in vivo performance and remodeling comparable to native heart valves, as predicted by and consistent with computational modeling,” according to the report.
“This work suggest that tissue engineering strategies should incorporate computational simulation to lead to more successful outcomes and more predictable clinical translation,” researchers wrote in the study.