Establishing a pre-clinical growing animal model to test a tissue engineered valved pulmonary conduit

Walter Knirsch, Björn Krüger, Thea Fleischmann, Alexandra Malbon, M Lipiski, Frithjof Lemme, M Sauer, N Cesarovic, H Dave, M Hübler, Martin Schweiger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background: Many valvular pathologies of the heart may be only sufficiently treated by replacement of the valve if a reconstruction is not feasible. However, structural deterioration, thrombosis with thromboembolic events and infective endocarditis are commonly encountered complications over time and often demand a re-operation. In congenital heart disease the lack of small diameter valves with the potential to grow poses additional challenges and limits treatment options to homo- or xenograft implants.

Methods: In this study, a chronic sheep model (24 months follow-up), a self-constructed valved conduit was created out of a tissue engineered (TE) patch (CorMatrix® Cardiovascular, Inc, USA) and implanted in orthotopic right ventricular (RV)-pulmonary artery (PA) position. Thereafter, the sheep were regularly monitored by clinical, laboratory and echocardiographic examinations to evaluate cardiac function and the implanted RV-PA-conduit.

Discussion: Here, we summarize the study protocol and our experiences during the perioperative phase and the follow up period and explain how we constructed a valved conduit out of a commercially available TE patch.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1070-1078
JournalJournal of thoracic disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Tissue engineering
  • pulmonary valve conduit
  • animal model


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