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Design of Cardiac Valve Scaffolds from Various Polymeric Biomaterials and Assessment of Dynamic Performance

Pedersen, Drake (2024) Design of Cardiac Valve Scaffolds from Various Polymeric Biomaterials and Assessment of Dynamic Performance. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Cardiac valve replacement has a long history of clinical practice, yet to this day that practice is marred by suboptimal outcomes and has become a sequence of palliative measures. At the same time, the advent of tissue engineering as a concept to restore native tissue function through cell repopulation of degradable scaffolds has caused a paradigm shift in approach to cardiac valve engineering, particularly for growing valves in young patients. However, applying tissue engineering principles to the cardiac valves has not been straightforward. From the earliest attempts until even recent clinical trials of these tissue engineered heart valves, a great deal has remained unknown, such as biological mechanisms of cell infiltration and neotissue formation as well as optimal valve design considerations for recreating native-like mechanical deformation and dynamic functional performance.

Therefore, it was the objective of this dissertation to further elucidate some of these unknowns, namely the material properties and geometry and their influence over structural and fluid mechanics. Additionally, comparing the functional performance of valve scaffolds sized for both adults and children was a crucial component. The experimental efforts reported herein identified two key design parameters, namely material stiffness and valve geometry, that could be modified toward optimization of valve scaffolds. Among the two primary variables tested here, the geometric configuration played a relatively more significant role than material stiffness in determining valve function and mechanical properties. Specifically, while valve performance generally diminished with increasing stiffness, extending the free edge length proved to be a significantly greater modification, contributing to a significant reduction in strain concentrations throughout the leaflet surface as well as reduced fluid jet velocity. Additionally, the electrospinning process used to fabricate valve scaffolds was tuned to allow for tightly controlled polymer deposition patterns in both adult- and pediatric-scale scaffolds. Future study may use this research as groundwork for iteration on valve design coupling experimental validation to computational modeling, as well as optimizing additional design features to improve both mechanical and host responses to degradable valve scaffolds on the road towards clinical translation.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Pedersen, Drakedrake.pedersen@pitt.eduddp17
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWagner, William
Committee MemberD'Amore,
Committee MemberBorovetz,
Committee MemberAbramowitch,
Committee MemberKreutzer,
Date: 11 January 2024
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 5 October 2023
Approval Date: 11 January 2024
Submission Date: 21 September 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 178
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Bioengineering
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cardiac valve; tissue engineered heart valve; heart valve design
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2024 19:37
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 19:37

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  • Design of Cardiac Valve Scaffolds from Various Polymeric Biomaterials and Assessment of Dynamic Performance. (deposited 11 Jan 2024 19:37) [Currently Displayed]


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