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Minerva Biotecnologica 2006 June;18(2):65-75

language: English

Cardiac valve remodelling. Implications for tissue engineering and molecular imaging

Aikawa E.

Center for Molecular Imaging Research Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA


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Approximately 275000 patients annually receive a heart valve replacement worldwide. Although survival and quality of life are enhanced for many patients, prosthesis-associated complications and failure are frequent and have considerable impact on patient outcome. A fundamental problem of existing mechanical and biological prostheses is their failure to repair, remodel, and grow. Inability to grow with the patient is especially relevant to the pediatric population, which presently requires multiple reoperations to place larger devices to accommodate their growth. Therefore, an off-the-shelf heart valve with the durability of mechanical prostheses, the biocompatibility of native valves, and the potential to grow is required. In this review, we focus primarily on the heart valve physiology and provide a summary of some of the aspects of valve regeneration, tissue engineering, and molecular imaging.

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