Dr. Mitchell VeDepo, a Postdoctoral Fellow of Bioengineering at the University of Colorado Denver, was recently awarded a postdoctoral grant by the American Heart Association (AHA). This award will help propel Dr. VeDepo’s project on the recellularization mechanisms for heart valve tissue engineering.
Valvular heart disease remains a significant cause of morbidity world wide and there is currently no ideal valve replacement. Dr. VeDepo’s project will help ‘build’ an ideal heart valve replacement through heart valve tissue engineering. This study will investigate the recruitment of autologous circulating cells for repopulating decellularized heart valve scaffolds using signaling chemokines and a novel bioreactor system. The results of this study will elucidate the recruitment of circulating cells and may lead to enhanced in situ recellularization of tissue engineered heart valves.