Although existing valve prostheses generally have resulted in enhanced survival and quality of life, they have serious drawbacks that limit their long-term efficacy. These include thrombo-embolic complications requiring lifelong anticoagulation in case of mechanical valves, limited durability due to calcification and structural failure in case of bioprostheses and structural deterioration and shortage of donor material when using a homograft. In addition, the inability to grow restricts the application of currently available prostheses in pediatric patients. Heart valve tissue engineering (TE) is a promising alternative to create living valves that may have the capacity to grow and remodel. The traditional TE approach requires the growth of tissue on a scaffold in a bioreactor before implantation (1).

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