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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 432901, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/432901
Review Article

Guided Tissue Regeneration in Heart Valve Replacement: From Preclinical Research to First-in-Human Trials

Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences, University Hospital of Padua, Via Giustiniani 2, 35128 Padua, Italy

Received 20 March 2015; Accepted 21 May 2015

Academic Editor: Umberto Benedetto

Copyright © 2015 L. Iop and G. Gerosa. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Heart valve tissue-guided regeneration aims to offer a functional and viable alternative to current prosthetic replacements. Not requiring previous cell seeding and conditioning in bioreactors, such exceptional tissue engineering approach is a very fascinating translational regenerative strategy. After in vivo implantation, decellularized heart valve scaffolds drive their same repopulation by recipient’s cells for a prospective autologous-like tissue reconstruction, remodeling, and adaptation to the somatic growth of the patient. With such a viability, tissue-guided regenerated conduits can be delivered as off-the-shelf biodevices and possess all the potentialities for a long-lasting resolution of the dramatic inconvenience of heart valve diseases, both in children and in the elderly. A review on preclinical and clinical investigations of this therapeutic concept is provided with evaluation of the issues still to be well deliberated for an effective and safe in-human application.