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Tissue Engineered Atrioventricular Valve: Morphological And Biomechanical Properties.
Pavel Iablonskii, Serghei Cebotari, Igor Tudorache, Sotirios Korossis, Andres Hilfiker, Axel Haverich.
Medical Highschool Hannover, Hannover, Germany.

OBJECTIVE: Semilunar valve tissue engineering based on decellularized allograft valves has been successfully undertaken in order to create prostheses with reduced tissue immunogenicity and improved durability. In the present study we aimed to create tissue engineered mitral valve based on cell-free allograft valve scaffold.
METHODS: Ovine mitral valves were harvested at local slaughterhouse. The valves were decellularized using detergents. The effectiveness of decellularization was assessed by histological (haemotoxylin-eosin, Movat's Pentachrome) and immunofluorescent staining (for DNA and α-Gal). For assessment of tissue receptiveness to endothelial cells, the valve leaflets were reseeded with ovine endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in vitro. For biomechanical properties, uniaxial tensile testing was carried out to find the differences between native and decellularized leaflet tissue.
RESULTS: The complete decellularization was proved both by histological and immunofluorescent methods. According to software for immunofluorescence analysis, reduction in DNA and α-Gal was 99,99% and 99,63%, respectively. Uniaxial tensile test revealed not significant changes in ultimate tensile strain (native, 165,93±17,77% vs decellularized, 216,32±30,07%; t=0,33), increased ultimate tensile stress (native, 1,29±0,36 MPa vs decellularized 2,5±0,42 MPa; t=0,0015) and Young's modulus (native, 1,98±0,77 vs decellularized, 2,19±1,14; t=0,01). After EPCs seeding, immunohistochemistry revealed a monolayer of eNOS- and vWF-positive cells on the surface of the leaflet providing typical cobble-stone morphology.
CONCLUSIONS: We have successfully created a decellularized atrioventricular homograft with reduced antigenicity, appropriate mechanical properties, and with a potential for autologous cell reseeding.

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