About this Research Topic
Tissue engineering offers novel solutions to overcome the limitations of currently used heart valve substitutes and small vessel bypass grafts. The main benefit of tissue-engineered substitutes is their intrinsic potential to grow and remodel in response to changing environmental conditions, which is particularly important for cardiovascular tissues, such as blood vessels and heart valves. The traditional tissue engineering triad of cells, scaffolds and stimuli to culture living replacement tissues in the lab has been nuanced with more recent strategies of pure cell-based or pure scaffold-based tissue engineering scaffolds, and the role of patient-specific microenvironmental stimuli (hemodynamic, immunological) is gaining attention as the focus shifts from creating the perfect tissue in the lab to creating adequate integration of tissue-engineered grafts in the body.
Considerable progress has been made in recent years with the development of tissue engineered heart valves and blood vessels. As these laboratory-based projects make translational steps towards the clinic, a new set of hurdles need to be negotiated. These include the choice between, in vitro, in vivo and in situ strategies, immunogenicity of implanted material, tissue growth and adaptation and use of percutaneous implantation of tissue engineered constructs. In addition, bioengineered tissues may serve as in vitro platforms to model vascular and valvular diseases, investigate underlying pathomechanisms and develop more efficient and/or novel therapeutic strategies. In this research topic, we aim to address several of the current scientific and translational questions: what inspiration can we draw from native valvular and vascular development? How is the integration of a tissue engineered graft influenced by patient-specific conditions, such as immunological or hemodynamic conditions? Can we use tissue-engineered (disease) models to predict this?
In this research topic, we welcome review, methods and original research article contributions that advance our understanding of development of tissue engineered heart valves and blood vessels and address the current issues in translating these technologies into clinical practice for the treatment of vasculopathies and valvulopathies. We welcome fundamental science as well as preclinical and clinical studies.
Specific themes for contributions:
• In vitro, in situ and in vivo vascular and valvular tissue engineering strategies
• Allogeneic and xenogeneic replacements
• Classic and transcatheter implantation
• Immunological response following implantation
• Vascularization strategies (microchanneling, etc.)
• Tissue engineered and ex vivo (disease) models (e.g. atherosclerosis, fibrosis, calcification, hypoxia, foreign body response)
• Vasculogenesis and valvulogenesis
• Biomimicking in vitro platforms (e.g. on-chip technologies)
• Hemodynamics (biomechanics and mechanobiology)
• Patient-specific disease modelling
• Predictive in vitro/in silico models
• New pharmacological treatments and therapeutic hypotheses
Keywords: Vascular and valvular diseases, Blood vessel and heart valve tissue engineering, Disease modelling and treatment, Tissue-Engineered Vascular Graft (TEVG), Tissue-Engineered Heart Valve (TEHV)
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.