Prosthetic heart valve implantations have become common in modern hospitals, but these devices are still far from perfect. Issues with longevity, calcification, and maintenance of a good fit over many years following placement are some of the existing concerns. An entirely different approach, which involves growing new valves from cultured human cells, may overcome many current limitations.
Toward that end, researchers at University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven, and the Charité Berlin, have developed computer simulations that help to predict how cultured valves will establish themselves, grow, and eventually function once inside the body.
“Thanks to the simulations, we can optimize the design and composition of the regenerative heart valves and develop customized implants for use in therapy,” in a published statement said Simon P. Hoerstrupof of the Institute of Regenerative Medicine at the University of Zurich.
So far the approach has been tried on sheep and it has proven to be quite accurate. It is hoped that this approach can be transferred quickly to the clinical realm.
Study in Science Translational Medicine: Computational modeling guides tissue-engineered heart valve design for long-term in vivo performance in a translational sheep model…