UCI biomedical engineers have created a hybrid tissue made with an extra-thin layer of metal mesh that marks the next step in their efforts to develop the first patient-specific heart valve with self-regenerative capabilities. Assistant professor Dr. Arash Kheradvar and graduate student Hamed Alavi said their novel tissue is expected to be biomechanically resilient against the physiological stresses inside the cardiovascular system and can be used to repair damaged heart-valve leaflets. Their work is featured on the cover of the April 2012 issue of Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods (pictured). Alavi and Kheradvar believe engineered tissue such as theirs will be part of a new generation of replacement heart valves with the potential to last a patient’s lifetime. “I cannot wait to see the day when this technology is used in patients and helps them to have a better life,” Alavi said.