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Heart Valves Cross-Linked with Erythrocyte Membrane Drug-Loaded Nanoparticles as a Biomimetic Strategy for Anti-coagulation, Anti-inflammation, Anti-calcification, and Endothelialization

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journal contribution
posted on 07.09.2020, 04:44 by Cheng Hu, Rifang Luo, Yunbing Wang
In recent years, valvular heart disease has become a serious disease threatening human life and is a major cause of death worldwide. However, the glutaraldehyde (GLU)-treated biological heart valves (BHVs) fail to meet all requirements of clinical application due to disadvantages such as valve thrombus, cytotoxicity, endothelialization difficulty, immune response, and calcification. Encouragingly, there are a large number of carboxyls as well as a few amino groups on the surface of GLU-treated BHVs that can be modified to enhance biocompatibility. Inspired by natural biological systems, we report a novel approach in which the heart valve was cross-linked with erythrocyte membrane biomimetic drug-loaded nanoparticles. Such modified heart valves not only preserved the structural integrity, stability, and mechanical properties of the GLU-treated BHVs but also greatly improved anti-coagulation, anti-inflammation, anti-calcification, and endothelialization. The in vitro results demonstrated that the modified heart valves had long-term anti-coagulation properties and enhanced endothelialization processes. The modified heart valves also showed good biocompatibility, including blood and cell biocompatibility. Most importantly, the modified heart valves reduced the TNF-α levels and increased IL-10 compared to GLU-treated BHVs. In vivo animal experiments also confirmed that the modified heart valves had an ultrastrong resistance to calcification after implantation in rats for 120 days. The mechanism of anti-calcification in vivo was mainly due to the controlled release of anti-inflammatory drugs that reduced the inflammatory response after valve implantation. In summary, this therapeutic approach based on BHVs cross-linking with erythrocyte membrane biomimetic nanoparticles sparks a novel design for valvular heart disease therapy.