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Porcine Vs. Bovine Pericardium Assessment As A Leaflet In Aortic Valves
Nazanin Afsar Kazerooni, Ekaterina Tkatchouk.
Edwards Lifesciences, Irvine, CA, USA.

OBJECTIVE: Bovine and porcine pericardium have been widely used as leaflet materials in transcatheter heart valves. Porcine pericardium is naturally thinner than bovine pericardium and, as such, porcine valves have clinically shown higher structural failure and reoperation when compared to bovine valves1,2,3. Because of these tradeoffs, it is essential to understand the mechanical and chemical differences between bovine and porcine pericardium leaflets. Bovine pericardium is generally thicker than porcine pericardium; therefore, in this study, naturally thin bovine was selected for a more relevant comparison.
METHODS: Chemical and mechanical testing was performed on bovine and porcine leaflets, including novel dynamic mechanical characterization using multiaxial clinically relevant conditions. Tear resistance was assessed under clinical conditions. Chemical testing included FTIR-ATR, Raman Spectroscopy was performed on leaflets before and after 200 million cycles of accelerated wear testing (AWT). Histological assessment of bovine and porcine pericardium was performed to quantify the collagen density.
RESULTS: Bovine and porcine leaflets' surface chemistry showed similarities; however, the density of the fibers were widely different. Fiber density impacts AWT or dynamic mechanical performance of leaflets. Bovine pericardium was more resistant to crack propagation under both uniaxial and multiaxial deformation in clinically relevant conditions.
CONCLUSIONS: Bovine pericardium leaflets demonstrated more mechanically durable performance and were less susceptible to tear under clinically relevant conditions, even for the naturally thinner bovine tissue.


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