Dan T. Simionescu, Ph.D.- June 4, 2019- 11:00am

Cardiac valves are the most mechanically challenged tissues in the body, and yet knowledge on cell biology, biochemistry, matrix homeostasis, genetics, mechanics, pathology, replacement, and regeneration is still incomplete. There is great clinical need for viable tissue implants which would replicate valvular mechanics and biology. Tissue engineering, the science of combining scaffolds, cells and signals holds great promise for treatment of heart valve disease. In this presentation, I will outline our approach to heart valve tissue regeneration which combines the controlled differentiation of autologous adipose-derived stem cells towards valve specific cells with the outstanding mechanical and biological properties of acellular valve scaffolds and our unique bioreactors for in vitro conditioning. Preliminary pre-clinical testing in sheep revealed the feasibility as well as the main challenges of this approach. These promising results increase enthusiasm for the future of cardiac valve tissue regeneration.