Liesbeth De Cock

Liesbeth De Cock Contact info

Liesbeth De Cock

Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Technology
Harelbekestraat 72, 9000 Gent (Belgium)
Tel: +32 (0)9 264 80 82
E-mail: Liesbeth.DeCock@UGent.be

Ph.D. work

Title: Development of a tissue-engineered aortic heart valve

Summary:

Valvular heart disease is a serious clinical condition resulting from the dysfunction of one or more of the heart’s valve. The incidence and prevalence of valve disease is increasing worldwide due to the world population's increasing age. Treatment for valvular heart disease involves replacement of the native valve by a prosthesis. In Flanders, yearly 2000 patients need surgery on their dysfunctional heart valves and more than 300 000 prosthetic valves are sold world wide annually. Current commercial prosthetic valves are far from ideal. A vital tissue-engineered valve would overcome the drawbacks of these prosthetic valves. A tissue-engineered valve is constructed by seeding autologous cells onto a biocompatible template. These cells have the function to repopulate the matrix and hence become a vital tissue. The objective of this project is to enhance cellular repopulation of biological aortic valve matrices, producing a vital tissue engineered construct that would serve as a prototype for developing a tissue engineered aortic heart valve.