Mechanical testing of glutaraldehyde cross-linked mitral valves. Part one: In vitro mechanical behaviour

Rhiannon Northeast, Matthew Constable, Hanna E. Burton, Bernard M. Lawless, Vera Gramigna, Kheng Lim Goh, Keith G. Buchan, Daniel M. Espino*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The aim of this study was to perform an initial assessment, in vitro, of the feasibility of using a glutaraldehyde cross-linked porcine mitral valve to retain acute functionality, focusing on assessing mitral regurgitation. Six porcine hearts were tested using an in vitro simulator. Testing was repeated following cross-linking of mitral valves; where cross-linking was achieved by placing them in a glutaraldehyde solution. The simulator enabled systolic pressure on the ventricular side of the valve to be mimicked. Following testing, mitral valve leaflets underwent Scanning Electron Microscopy of the ventricular surface of both the anterior and posterior leaflets (1 cm2 samples). The peak pressure withstood by cross-linked valves was significantly lower than for untreated valves (108 mmHg cf. 128 mmHg for untreated valves; p < 0.05). The peak pressure was typically reached 0.5 s later than for the untreated valve. While both cross-linked and untreated valves exhibited endothelium denudation, the unfixed valve had less endothelial loss. Glutaraldehyde cross-linking of porcine mitral valves may be of potential value in assessing improved bioprosthetic mitral valve replacements. However, a more immobile valve exhibiting endothelial denudation (i.e. sclerosis) was a possible concerns identified following in vitro acute assessment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Early online date24 Nov 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Nov 2020


  • Cross-linking
  • glutaraldehyde
  • in vitro
  • mechanical behaviour
  • mechanics
  • mitral valve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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