In situ cardiovascular tissue engineering
There is a pressing need for dramatically improved heart valve substitutes. Although current heart valve prostheses are life saving devices, they have a very limited life span. Prosthesis related problems require reoperation and heart valve replacement. This has a great impact on the life expectancy of patients. Besides, it affects a large patients group. Professor Frank Baaijens discusses a breakthrough tissue engineering solution to resolve this demanding health care problem. A solution which is the result of the team effort of the TU/e Soft Tissue Biomechanics and Tissue Engineering research group and partners.
Each year over 300,000 heart valves are replaced worldwide. Prosthesis related problems affect 30-60% of the patients within 10 years post-operatively. One third of all patients younger than 18 years require reoperation within 15 years after receiving an aortic heart valve replacement. Patients that require aortic heart valve replacement have up to 50% reduced life expectancy compared to age matched healthy individuals.
In situ tissue engineering using a biodegradable starter matrix that is repopulated with endogenous cells is emerging as a promising technology to create living heart valves inside the human body having the potential to last a life-time: one valve for life.
Prof.dr.ir. Frank Baaijens is professor Soft Tissue Biomechanics and Tissue Engineering in the Department of BioMedical Engineering. He currently serves as Rector Magnificus of the Eindhoven University of Technology.
Biomedica 2017 closing keynote
This lecture is organized in cooperation with TU/e’s Strategic Area Health and is also part of the 2017 Biomedica Life Sciences Summit where it is announced as the closing keynote (day 2 / 12.40 – 13.30 hrs) with the title In situ cardiovascular tissue engineering.
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