Cardiac Valve Bioreactor for Physiological Conditioning and Hydrodynamic Performance Assessment

Brandon J. Tefft, Joshua A. Choe, Melissa D. Young, Ryan S. Hennessy, David W. Morse, Jeffery A. Bouchard, Herbert J. Hedberg, Joseph F. Consiglio, Dan Dragomir-Daescu, Robert D. Simari, Amir Lerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Tissue engineered heart valves (TEHV) are being investigated to address the limitations of currently available valve prostheses. In order to advance a wide variety of TEHV approaches, the goal of this study was to develop a cardiac valve bioreactor system capable of conditioning living valves with a range of hydrodynamic conditions as well as capable of assessing hydrodynamic performance to ISO 5840 standards. Methods: A bioreactor system was designed based on the Windkessel approach. Novel features including a purpose-built valve chamber and pressure feedback control were incorporated to maintain asepsis while achieving a range of hydrodynamic conditions. The system was validated by testing hydrodynamic conditions with a bioprosthesis and by operating with cell culture medium for 4 weeks and living cells for 2 weeks. Results: The bioreactor system was able to produce a range of pressure and flow conditions from static to resting adult left ventricular outflow tract to pathological including hypertension. The system operated aseptically for 4 weeks and cell viability was maintained for 2 weeks. The system was also able to record the pressure and flow data needed to calculate effective orifice area and regurgitant fraction. Conclusions: We have developed a single bioreactor system that allows for step-wise conditioning protocols to be developed for each unique TEHV design as well as allows for hydrodynamic performance assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-94
Number of pages15
JournalCardiovascular Engineering and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 15 2019


  • Biochemical stimulation
  • Biomechanical stimulation
  • ISO 5840
  • Three-dimensional tissue culture
  • Tissue engineered heart valve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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