Biomatrix-polymer hybrid material for heart valve tissue engineering

  • Christof Stamm
  • N. Grabow
  • G. Steinhoff


Fabrication of a viable heart valve with lifelong durability and growth potential during childhood is the common goal of all heart valve tissue engineering strategies. Despite significant improvements in valve design, patients carrying conventional prostheses remain burdened by the lifelong need for anticoagulation or the inevitable degeneration of nonvital biologic valve tissue. Research on tissue engineering of heart valves commenced in the 1990s, and several strategies have evolved ever since [29, 30]. Initially, biodegradable polymers were used as scaffolds to be seeded with the recipient’s autologous cells. This approach is feasible with a wide variety of adult, neonatal, and prenatal cell types, but requires extensive in vitro conditioning to facilitate the adhesion of cells on the polymer surface and to induce the deposition of biologic extracellular matrix components prior to implantation [21, 22, 32, 33]. A similar strategy is the production of viable heart valves based on cells embedded in biological hydrogels, which also require elaborate technology for in vitro tissue growth [18]. Alternatively, the allogenic or xenogenic extracellularized heart valve matrix has been suggested as a conveniently preformed scaffold [24, 26, 36]. Here, the idea is to remove all cellular components by enzymatic digestion, physical destruction, or chemical detergents, and without using glutaraldehyde tanning and tissue fixation [2, 13, 14, 15].


Heart Valve Valve Tissue Pulmonary Valve Replacement Decellularization Process Engineer Heart Valve 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christof Stamm
    • 1
  • N. Grabow
  • G. Steinhoff
  1. 1.Deutsches Herzzentrum BerlinBerlinGermany

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