Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium (GRADS)


Dan Simionescu, PhD

Document Type




Publication Date

Spring 2013


The aim of this research was to develop systems capable of evenly coating replacement heart valves with cells and preconditioning the valves with increasing amounts of sheer stress. We hypothesize that this preconditioning will allow the cells to remain attached after the valve is implanted into the blood stream. The cell seeding device (seeder) and valve conditioning system (bioreactor) were developed using SolidWorks and manufactured on campus. LabView was utilized to control and monitor conditions of both systems. Porcine aortic valves were decellularized, sterilized, crosslinked, neutralized, and coated with cell attachment factors. The valves were placed into the seeder and human adipose derived stem cells were added to the system. After undergoing a specified rotation-pause regimen overnight, the valves were placed in the bioreactor under pulmonary pressures for at least two weeks. Analyses of cellular attachment, retention, and viability were performed. Results show good coverage immediately after seeding and cells beginning to spread after overnight attachment. After two weeks in the bioreactor, many cells remained attached to the valve and were further spread and aligned than static controls and initial time points. Overall, the seeder and bioreactor enable an even coating and retention of cells on a replacement heart valve.