Microfabricated poly(glycerol sebacate) (PGS) scaffolds may be applicable to tissue engineering heart valve leaflets by virtue of their controllable microstructure, stiffness, and elasticity. In this study, PGS scaffolds were computationally designed and microfabricated by laser ablation to match the anisotropy and peak tangent moduli of native bovine aortic heart valve leaflets. Finite element simulations predicted PGS curing conditions, scaffold pore shape, and strut width capable of matching the scaffold effective stiffnesses to the leaflet peak tangent moduli. On the basis of simulation predicted effective stiffnesses of 1.041 and 0.208 MPa for the scaffold preferred (PD) and orthogonal, cross-preferred (XD) material directions, scaffolds with diamond-shaped pores were microfabricated by laser ablation of PGS cured 12 h at 160°C. Effective stiffnesses measured for the scaffold PD (0.83 ± 0.13 MPa) and XD (0.21 ± 0.03 MPa) were similar to both predicted values and peak tangent moduli measured for bovine aortic valve leaflets in the circumferential (1.00 ± 0.16 MPa) and radial (0.26 ± 0.03 MPa) directions. Scaffolds cultivated with fibroblasts for 3 weeks accumulated collagen (736 ± 193 μg/g wet weight) and DNA (17 ± 4 μg/g wet weight). This study provides a basis for the computational design of biomimetic microfabricated PGS scaffolds for tissue-engineered heart valves.
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