Generating a stem cell-derived heart valve
About the project:
Heart valve disease is a leading health burden, and it is estimated that >100 million patients worldwide suffer from heart valve disease. Most patients with symptomatic heart valve disease require open-chest heart valve replacement surgery following diagnosis. Routine heart valve replacement requires the use of mechanical or bioprosthetic valves fabricated using animal tissue. Although bioprosthetic valves are often considered superior to mechanical valves, these animal-derived valves require extensive chemical and thermal sterilisation treatment to reduce immune rejection. They also have limited durability and their mechanical properties do not fully match those of the human native valves.
In this project we will generate a stem cell-derived bioprosthetic for heart valve repair. Using novel differentiation protocols and tissue engineering techniques, we will generate precision-made tissues to meet specific physical and mechanical properties to match patient’s needs.
Research theme: reBUILD
Tissue of interest: Heart