Valvular heart disease results in approximately 275,000 valve replacement procedures performed annually worldwide. Structural deterioration, calcification, tissue overgrowth, and thromboembolism frequently lead to abnormal tissue stiffness levels that contribute to the failure of native heart valves. While many treatment alternatives exist, understanding the factors that regulate the activity of heart valve cells is critical for circumventing pathological heart valve fibrosis and engineering improved biologically active heart valve replacements.

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