Mechanical Property Correction Of Engineered Heart Valve Tissues Post-culture
Ariadna Herrera, Sharan Ramaswamy.
Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA.
Infants born with critical congenital heart valve defects have limited treatment options, primarily due to a lack of prosthetic valves that are small enough to fit pediatric patients and that can support somatic growth. We have been working on creating an elastin-rich, regenerable valve that would be an ideal treatment option for these patients. It has been observed, however, that the liquid culture period required to produce engineered valve tissues cause the construct material to distend, consequently risking the possibility of valves prolapse. Our aim is to correct the valve mechanical properties and restore them to that of its core bio-scaffold material, porcine small intestinal submucosa (PSIS), which on its own has been proven to function for months.
A preliminary analysis was performed by placing unseeded PSIS scaffolds in rotisserie culture for 22 days to simulate the total valve culture duration. These scaffolds subsequently underwent a dehydration protocol in which PSIS was submerged in a 57% glycerol-DI solution and then air dried. The dehydrated scaffolds were then subjected to uniaxial tensile testing in two orientations, and their mechanical properties were compared to a control group of “uncorrected” specimens.
Table 1 summarizes the linear stiffnesses obtained for each group (n=3/direction; n=4 for raw PSIS). No statistically significant difference was found between the groups for either length-wise or width-wise linear stiffness.
Here our preliminary results demonstrate that our dehydration protocol has facilitated linear stiffness correction of the engineered ECM closer to that of the raw PSIS bio-scaffold (Table 1). Nonetheless, further optimization of the dehydration protocol will be done prior to hydrodynamic functionality assessments of these valve constructs.This research is funded by the Florida Heart Research Foundation
|Group||Direction||Average Linear Stiffness +/- SEM|
|2-Ply Raw PSIS||-||47.91 +/- 8.88 (BAG et al., 2020)|
|Control||Length||10.91 +/- 2.93|
|Width||13.11 +/- 3.68|
|Dehydrated||Length||14.39 +/- 6.25|
|Width||11.85 +/- 4.25|
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