Effect of cyclic deformation on xenogeneic heart valve biomaterials


Glutaraldehyde-fixed bovine pericardium is currently the most popular biomaterial utilized in the creation of bioprosthetic heart valves. However, recent studies indicate that glutaraldehyde fixation results in calcification and structural valve deterioration, limiting the longevity of bioprosthetic heart valves. Additionally, glutaraldehyde fixation renders the tissue incompatible with constructive recipient cellular repopulation, remodeling and growth. Use of unfixed xenogeneic biomaterials devoid of antigenic burden has potential to overcome the limitations of current glutaraldehyde-fixed biomaterials. Heart valves undergo billion cycles of opening and closing throughout the patient’s lifetime. Therefore, understanding the response of unfixed tissues to cyclic loading is crucial to these in a heart valve leaflet configuration. In this manuscript we quantify the effect of cyclic deformation on cycle dependent strain, structural, compositional and mechanical properties of fixed and unfixed tissues. Glutaraldehyde-fixed bovine pericardium underwent marked cyclic dependent strain, resulting from significant changes in structure, composition and mechanical function of the material. Conversely, unfixed bovine pericardium underwent minimal strain and maintained its structure, composition and mechanical integrity. This manuscript demonstrates that unfixed bovine pericardium can withstand cyclic deformations equivalent to 6 months of in vivo heart valve leaflet performance.

PloS one, 14(6), p.e0214656.


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