Structural modification and cryopreservation of porcine heart valves for xenotransplantation with reduced immunity

E. Erez, J. Sandbank, A. Stamler, E. Raanani, E. Sharoni, B. A. Vidne*, J. Barak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and aim of the study: In order to provide valved xenografts with reduced immunity, yet durability comparable with that of homografts, a method for endothelial cell removal was developed. Methods: Adult porcine valved pulmonary conduits were isolated, washed and incubated in trypsin-EDTA solution. The endothelial cells were flushed free with a stream of culture medium, and the xenografts cryopreserved. Grafts were thawed after three months, and evaluated structurally. Results: Macroscopic inspection of the grafts revealed no cracks or other morphological damage. Light microscopy revealed mildly edematous changes, and the elastic layers appeared to be preserved. Incubation with trypsin-EDTA solution consistently removed the entire endothelial layer, without obvious damage to the underlying tissues. Conclusion: With care and appropriate timing, the xenograft endothelium can be selectively removed, leaving the underlying tissue intact. This process may allow further structural manipulations to improve the durability of these grafts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-128
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Heart Valve Disease
Volume10
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

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