Lab made tri-tube heart valves could reduce surgeries
Paediatric heart valve replacement surgeries could be reduced after lab-made tri-tube valves were found to grow after implantation into lambs.
Robert Tranquillo, a senior researcher from the team in Minnesota states “This is the first demonstration that a valve implanted into a large animal model, in our case a lamb, can grow with the animal into adulthood. We have a way to go yet, but this puts us much farther down the path to future clinical trials in children.”
The researchers at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities used special detergents to wash away the sheep cells from the tissue-like tubes, leaving behind a cell-free collagenous matrix that does not cause immune reaction when implanted.
The next step was to sew three tubes (about 16mm in diameter) together into a closed ring before trimming them slightly to create leaflets that replicate a structure like a heart valve about 19mm in diameter.
“After these initial steps, it looked like a heart valve, but the question then became if it could work like a heart valve and if it could grow. Our findings confirmed both.” Tranquillo went on to add.
This technology could have a significant and positive impact on young patients and help reduce surgery time.
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