new strategies for freeze-drying decellularized
pig heart valves for later transplanting into humans were innovated and tested recently by collabortors at Hannover Medical School, Hannover and Leibniz University, Corlife, Germany, and their new research was documented in the journal Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods
Shangping Wang of Leibniz University and his colleagues tested and compared for elasticity and stability porcine heart valve scaffolds they had freeze-dried after removing cellular material, with and without using hydroxyl ethylene starch and sucrose lyoprotectants
, and they reported their assessment of the effectiveness of each method in preventing or reducing degradation.
Methods Co-Editor-in-Chief John Jansen, chairman of the Department of Biomaterials at Radboud University's Nijmegen Medical Center in The Netherlands explained
the importance of the team's ongoing research:
“Advances in heart valve technology are essential for improvement of patient care. The authors have discerned critical methods for heart valve scaffold preservation that may fundamentally change the way that heart valve reconstruction is performed."
Scientists have long been researching and experimenting with methods of transplanting pig organs and organ parts into humans to alleviate the lagging supply of human body parts and long transplant waiting lists, Time Magazine reported
several years ago.
But a study at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found pig heart valves transplanted into humans to repair aortic valves failed more often and much earlier than doctors expected, ScienceDaily reported
in June 2009.