Ann Conkle
Feb 14, 2012

Freeze-dried heart valve scaffolds hold promise for heart valve replacement

The biological scaffold that gives structure to a heart valve after its cellular material has been removed can be freeze-dried and stored for later use as a tissue-engineered replacement valve for a failing heart, as described in an article in Tissue Engineering, Part C: Methods. Researchers from Leibniz University, Corlife, and Hannover Medical School studied various strategies for freeze-drying heart valves. After the cellular material was removed, they freeze-dried the heart valve scaffolds with or without sucrose and hydroxyl ethylene starch, and then compared the stability and elasticity of the scaffolds to assess the effectiveness of these materials in preventing degradation. "Advances in heart valve technology are essential for improvement of patient care," says John Jansen, Methods Co-Editor-in-Chief "The authors have discerned critical methods for heart valve scaffold preservation that may fundamentally change the way that heart valve reconstruction is performed."