Russian Journal of Bioorganic Chemistry

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 19–31 | Cite as

Modern Approaches to Chemical Modification of Proteins in Biological Tissues: Consequences and Application

Review Article


Products made of biomaterials, such as heart valve prostheses, vascular grafts, and patches for vascular and intracardiac plastics, are currently used in cardiovascular surgery. The biological tissue used for prosthetics is the alternation of transverse and longitudinal layers of collagen fibers consisting of type I collagen (75%), elastin (<5%), cell elements, as well as glycoproteins, glycosaminoglycans, and other components of the cell matrix. Chemical modifications of components of a biological tissue allow for retention of its natural architectonics and stability of collagen structure over time, while simultaneously increasing the collagen resistance to enzymatic and mechanical destruction and preventing cellular and immune effects on the part of the recipient organism. Proteins in biological tissues are chemically modified (preserved) by the formation of intramolecular and intermolecular cross-links between the amino groups of amino acid residues in collagen molecules. However, cross-linking increases the calcification of biomaterial, making the tissue more rigid and leading to the rupture of the valve flaps, stenosis (reduced clearance), or insufficiency (a decrease in the closure function) of the heart valves. Calcification can also result from specific physiological features of recipient (the patient who received the artificial organ), the nature of the preserving agent, components of the dead cells, defects of collagen structure, cavities in tissues, and the presence of lipids, elastin fibers, glycosaminoglycans, and so on. The factors that induce calcification of the materials used for prosthetic repair and the corresponding methods for its prevention are reviewed. All methods are conventionally divided into three groups: chemical pretreatment of tissues, modification of the preservation method, and posttreatment of preserved tissues with chemical agents. The mechanisms of the processes underlying the effect of chemical agents on the structures of biological tissues are described. The results of their use in clinical practice and prospects for methods still under development and in preclinical trials are discussed, as well as the reasons why some methods have failed. The advantages and disadvantages of various types of treatments are considered. Variants of new methods for chemical modification of biological materials potentially effective in reducing the risk of calcification are proposed.


chemical modification of proteins biological material in medicine collagen calcification 


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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Institute for Complex Issues of Cardiovascular DiseasesKemerovoRussia

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