One of the most critical problems in heart valve tissue engineering is the progressive development of valvular insufficiency due to leaflet retraction. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of this process is crucial for developing tissue-engineered heart valves (TEHVs) that maintain their functionality in the long term. In the present study, we adopted a computational approach to predict the remodeling process in TEHVs subjected to dynamic pulmonary and aortic pressure conditions, and to assess the risk of valvular insufficiency. In addition, we investigated the importance of the intrinsic cell contractility on the final outcome of the remodeling process. For valves implanted in the aortic position, the model predictions suggest that valvular insufficiency is not likely to occur as the blood pressure is high enough to prevent the development of leaflet retraction. In addition, the collagen network was always predicted to remodel towards a circumferentially aligned network, which is corresponding to the native situation. In contrast, for valves implanted in the pulmonary position, our model predicted that there is a high risk for the development of valvular insufficiency, unless the cell contractility is very low. Conversely, the development of a circumferential collagen network was only predicted at these pressure conditions when cell contractility was high. Overall, these results, therefore, suggest that tissue remodeling at aortic pressure conditions is much more stable and favorable compared to tissue remodeling at pulmonary pressure conditions.
|Tijdschrift||Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials|
|Vroegere onlinedatum||19 okt 2015|
|Status||Gepubliceerd - mei 2016|