2. Department of Internal Medicine II, Division of Cardiology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna Austria.
Heart valve tissue engineering and regeneration represents a novel, and viable alternative treatment modality for valvular heart disease. Tissue-engineered pulmonary valves (TEPV) have been constructed from autologous cells grown on 3D biodegradable scaffolds or decelluarized xeno- or homografts and surgically implanted in animal models. From a translational stand point, constructed valves must maintain regenerative competency in recipients, with minimum risk for stenosis over the long term. Stem cells are an attractive cell source for this proposed solution; candidate cells are expected to maintain robust differentiation and transdifferentiation capacity. Transplanted cells must persist, engraft, and couple electro-mechanically with endogenous tissue. Here, we present a discussion on the clinical applicability of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in TEPV.
Keywords: Tissue engineered heart valves, stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, cardiomyoplasty