Seminars in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery vol:13 issue:4 Suppl 1 pages:93-8
The presence of viable endothelial cells may support longer durability and the absence of calcification in valve prostheses. This study shows the development of a tissue engineered heart valve, constructed from viable autologous endothelial cells on an acellular matrix and its evaluation in juvenile sheep. In 3-month-old sheep (n = 8) a piece of vein was harvested to culture autologous endothelial cells. A porcine acellular matrix was reendothelialized and implanted in juvenile sheep as pulmonary interposition. The valves were explanted after 1 week, 3 and 6 months. Examination was performed by X-ray, light microscopy, and atomic absorption spectrometry. Reendothelialization mean rate was 10.3 x 10(5) cells/cm(2) with a mean endothelial cell viability of 95.5% (0.98 x 10(5) cells/cm(2)). X-ray examination showed no cusp calcification at 1 week, 3 and 6 months, which was confirmed by light microscopy. Immunostaining for factor VIII demonstrated colonization of viable mature autologous endothelial cells on the heart valve after the seeding process. The atomic absorption spectrometry showed no significant increase of the calcium content after 3 (P value >.1) and 6 months (P value >.1) compared with nonimplanted tissue engineered heart valves. The tissue engineered valve showed no cusp calcification in the juvenile sheep after 3 and 6 months.