In vitro model of a fibrosa layer of a heart valve

Soumen Jana, Amir Lerman, Robert D. Simari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The fibrosa layer of a cardiac aortic valve is composed mostly of a dense network of type I collagen fibers oriented in circumferential direction. This main layer bears the tensile load and responds to the high stress on a leaflet. The inner fibrosa layer is also the site of pathophysiologic changes that result in valvular dysfunction, including stenosis and regurgitation. In vitro studies of these changes are limited by the absence of a substrate that mimics the circumferentially oriented structure of the fibrosa layer. In heart valve tissue engineering, generation of this layer is challenging. This study aimed to develop an artificial fibrosa layer of a native aortic leaflet. A unique morphologically biomimicked, pliable, but standalone substrate with circumferentially oriented nanofibers was fabricated by electrospinning on a novel collector designed for this study. The substrate had low-bulk tensile stiffness and ultimate strength; thus, cultured valvular interstitial cells (VICs) showed a fibroblast phenotype that is generally observed in a healthy aortic leaflet. Furthermore, gene and protein expression and morphology of VICs in substrates were close to those in the fibrosa layer of a native aortic leaflet. This artificial fibrosa layer can be useful for in vitro studies of valvular dysfunctions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20012-20020
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number36
StatePublished - Sep 16 2015


  • cardiac valve
  • fibrosa layer
  • nanofibrous substrate
  • tissue engineering
  • valvular interstitial cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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