3D printed venous valves, biocompatibility and functionality

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



TechConnect Briefs 2018 - Advanced Materials




3d bioprinting; Cardiovascular engineering; Luciferin assay; Tissue engineering; Venious valves


© 2018 OOSV. All rights reserved. 3D printing has been gaining popularity as a method of creating heart valves. However, to the best of our knowledge, no one was yet able to 3D print venous valves, particularly using cells or biocompatible materials. Toward this long-term goal, we pursued the following specific tasks. TASK 1 included exploration of several different valve designs, including a single flap valve, a two-flap valve, a floating ball valve and a tri-leaflet valve. Main dimensions included 5 mm diameter valve and a 1-mm wall thickness. Valves were printed from both silicone and polyurethane material, and demonstrated movable flaps in the presence of fluid. TASK 2 was to compare the viability of primary cardiac fibroblasts and their survival in multiple passages after seeding on to the surface of the optimized silicone cardiac valves. Analysis of cell viability was conducted with microscopy, immunocytochemistry, and bioluminescence imaging with Luciferin and CytoscanTM LDH assays. Finally, for TASK 3 we designed 3D circular structures to support formation of a ring of tissue-engineered cardiac muscle suitable for implantation around the outer circumference of a the valves. When placed around valvecontaining vessel segments such self-beating rings can be potentially used to aid venous return. Our findings bring creation of implantable venous valves one step closer to reality. Ability to replace and repair these vascular structures will be a major development for a broad spectrum of ailments associated with chronic venous disease.

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