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Bio-fabricating constructs suitable for pulmonary valve replacement therapy in paediatric patients with congenital heart defect

Bristol Medical School

Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Congenital heart defects (CHD) are the primary cause of infant deaths in Europe and North America. The primary treatment for CHD is surgery but the major problem with surgery for such defects is the lack of living replacement materials with the capacity of growth and regeneration. Many children need prosthetic replacement grafts in the form of new valves, conduits and patches, however although these grafts may be lifesaving, they have limited durability and often require repeat operations in the future. Epidemiologically, the pulmonary valve is more frequently affected in paediatric cases of CHD. It would therefore be desirable to develop a tissue engineered pulmonary valve capable of integration and growth within its implantation site as a construct for valve replacement therapy in these patients.

The aim of this project is to Investigate the histological and biomechanical characteristics of valves engineered, by seeding stem cells onto decellularised human pulmonary valves, decellularised porcine pulmonary valves, human amnion and porcine SIS-ECM, and compare them to the native pulmonary valve. Then test the constructs with best properties in a neonatal piglet model.

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