Cell sourcing and culture conditions for fibrin-based valve constructs

Chrysanthi Williams, Sandra L. Johnson, Paul S. Robinson, Robert T. Tranquillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Cell sourcing for tissue-engineered heart valves remains a critical issue. In this work, human dermal fibroblasts (HDF) or porcine valve interstitial cells (PVIC) were entrapped in adherent fibrin disk constructs and harvested at 3 and 5 weeks. We compared the fibrin remodeling abilities of each cell type in Dulbecco's Modified Eagle's Medium (DMEM) and DMEM/F12 supplemented with transforming growth factor β (TGF), and the response of PVIC to DMEM/F12 supplemented with fibroblast growth factor (FGF), a combination of FGF and TGF, and TGF with varying ascorbic acid (AA) concentrations. Culture media were supplemented with serum, insulin, AA, a fibrinolysis inhibitor, and antibiotics. DMEM maximized collagen and elastin deposition by HDF, white DMEM/F12 with FGF yielded the highest fibrin remodeling response by PVIC. HDF degraded fibrin slower than PVIC, and PVIC constructs had higher cellularity than HDF constructs in DMEM and DMEM/F12 at 3 weeks. FGF addition increased collagen content, collagen deposited per cell, and collagen as percentage of total protein compared to medium supplemented with TGF or TGF and FGF. AA addition increased collagen deposition by PVIC, but there was no dose dependence between 50 and 150 μg/mL AA. These results collectively show that PVIC are able to remodel fibrin faster and exhibit greater mechanical stiffening compared to HDF. Conditions for increased collagen deposition are also identified toward the engineering of valve constructs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1489-1502
Number of pages14
JournalTissue Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006

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