Top-down Prosthetic Heart Valve Fabrication Using Sheets of Tissue

Prosthetic Heart Valve designed in the Cardiovascular Regenerative Engineering Laboratory
Image: Prototype prosthetic heart valve
made from a novel folding technique

In the United States, heart valve disease affects 5.2 million people, and 156,000 heart valve procedures are performed every year. There are two main commercial products used in aortic valve replacement—either a tissue valve transplanted from a bovine or porcine donor or a metal, mechanical valve.  Both valve types have lifespan limitations, and developing a self-healing valve from human tissue requires a lot of work. 

To develop self-healing valves, many research designs use a bottom-up approach based around “growing” a valve using cells and scaffolding.  Instead, CaRE's prosthetic heart valve fabrication technique uses a top-down approach. In this approach, CaRE is attempting to 3D print and electrospin cells to create lay tissue into a predesigned 2D sheet. In a fashion similar to origami, the sheet then folds into three dimensions to create a functional valve.



Headshot of Brandon J. Tefft, Ph.D.Brandon J. Tefft, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Headshot of William YuanWilliam Yuan

Project Lead


Selected Publications

Tefft BJ, Choe JA, Young MD, Hennessy RS, Morse DW, Bouchard JA, Hedberg HJ, Consiglio JF, Dragomir-Daescu D, Simari RD, Lerman A.   Cardiac Valve Bioreactor for Physiological Conditioning and Hydrodynamic Performance Assessment.   Cardiovasc Eng Technol.   2019 03;10(1):80-94 PMID: 30311149 PMCID: PMC6541400 SCOPUS ID: 2-s2.0-85061993924 10/13/2018

Jana S, Tefft BJ, Spoon DB, Simari RD (2014). Scaffolds for tissue engineering of cardiac valves. Acta Biomaterialia, 10(7): 2877-2893. [PMID: 24675108]

Spoon DB, Tefft BJ, Lerman A, Simari RD (2013). Challenges of biological valve development. Interventional Cardiology, 5(3): 319-334.



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