Loughborough University
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Use of sucrose to diminish pore formation in freeze-dried heart valves

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posted on 2019-02-28, 14:30 authored by Andres Vasquez-Rivera, Harriette Oldenhof, Daniele Dipresa, Tobias Goecke, Artemis Kouvaka, Fabian Will, Axel Haverich, Sotiris KorossisSotiris Korossis, Andres Hilfiker, Willem F. Wolkers
© 2018, The Author(s). Freeze-dried storage of decellularized heart valves provides easy storage and transport for clinical use. Freeze-drying without protectants, however, results in a disrupted histoarchitecture after rehydration. In this study, heart valves were incubated in solutions of various sucrose concentrations and subsequently freeze-dried. Porosity of rehydrated valves was determined from histological images. In the absence of sucrose, freeze-dried valves were shown to have pores after rehydration in the cusp, artery and muscle sections. Use of sucrose reduced pore formation in a dose-dependent manner, and pretreatment of the valves in a 40% (w/v) sucrose solution prior to freeze-drying was found to be sufficient to completely diminish pore formation. The presence of pores in freeze-dried valves was found to coincide with altered biomechanical characteristics, whereas biomechanical parameters of valves freeze-dried with enough sucrose were not significantly different from those of valves not exposed to freeze-drying. Multiphoton imaging, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry studies revealed that matrix proteins (i.e. collagen and elastin) were not affected by freeze-drying.


Tis research was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaf) via the Cluster of Excellence ‘From regenerative biology to reconstructive therapy’ (REBIRTH, EXC 62/1). Te publication of this article was funded by the Open Access Fund of the Leibniz Universität Hannover.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

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Scientific Reports






VASQUEZ-RIVERA, A. ... et al., 2018. Use of sucrose to diminish pore formation in freeze-dried heart valves. Scientific Reports, 8: 12982.


© The Authors. Published by Nature


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This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Nature under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/




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