41598_2018_Article_31388.pdf (2.78 MB)
Download file

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

Download (2.78 MB)
journal contribution
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

Published in

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


VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/

Acceptance date


Publication date



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/