Microfractures in Cryopreserved Heart Valves: Valve Submersion in Liquid Nitrogen Revisited
Cryopreservation of human tissues is finding increased usage as a means of increasing the availability and quality of clinically usable biomaterials. Tissues being cryopreserved include heart valves, vein segments, articular cartilage, tendons, ligaments, bone, and cellular tissues such as the pancreas. Cryopreservation of organs has met with more limited success than cryopreservation of “acellular” tissues, i.e. tissues with minimal cell populations. Tissues such as a heart valve consist primarily of a collagen/proteoglycan matrix in which small numbers of fibroblast type cells are sparsely distributed. In it’s native state, the heart valve also contains a surface coating of metabolically active endothelial cells whose primary function is to provide a smooth surface to the blood streaming across its’ face and to prevent blood clotting.
KeywordsHeart Valve Fracture Line Valve Leaflet Tissue Culture Medium Active Endothelial Cell
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