For the first time, bioengineered heart valves implanted into lambs have been shown to grow with the recipient. If the same holds for humans, the new heart valves could provide an ‘off-the-shelf’, single-shot product for pediatric heart surgery. Currently, the only option for pediatric patients with heart defects is bioprosthetic valves made from chemically treated animal tissues. These generally calcify and do not grow with the child, thus multiple open-heart surgeries are required until the patient reaches adulthood when a mechanical valve can be implanted. Clearly, an engineered valve that can grow with the patient and does not calcify represents...
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