Culturing mouse cardiac valves in the miniature tissue culture system

Boudewijn P.T. Kruithof, Samuel C. Lieber, Marianna Kruithof-de Julio, Vincian Gaussin, Marie José Goumans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Heart valve disease is a major burden in the Western world and no effective treatment is available. This is mainly due to a lack of knowledge of the molecular, cellular and mechanical mechanisms underlying the maintenance and/or loss of the valvular structure. Current models used to study valvular biology include in vitro cultures of valvular endothelial and interstitial cells. Although, in vitro culturing models provide both cellular and molecular mechanisms, the mechanisms involved in the 3D-organization of the valve remain unclear. While in vivo models have provided insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying valvular development, insight into adult valvular biology is still elusive. In order to be able to study the regulation of the valvular 3D-organization on tissue, cellular and molecular levels, we have developed the Miniature Tissue Culture System. In this ex vivo flow model the mitral or the aortic valve is cultured in its natural position in the heart. The natural configuration and composition of the leaflet are maintained allowing the most natural response of the valvular cells to stimuli. The valves remain viable and are responsive to changing environmental conditions. This MTCS may provide advantages on studying questions including but not limited to, how does the 3D organization affect valvular biology, what factors affect 3D organization of the valve, and which network of signaling pathways regulates the 3D organization of the valve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere52750
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number104
StatePublished - Oct 19 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


  • Aortic valve
  • Bioengineering
  • Ex vivo flow model
  • Heart valve biology
  • Heart valve disease
  • Issue 104
  • Miniature tissue culture system
  • Mitral valve
  • Mouse


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