A Durable Porcine Pericardial Surgical Bioprosthetic Heart Valve: a Proof of Concept

Benyamin Rahmani, Christopher McGregor, Guerard Byrne, Gaetano Burriesci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Bioprosthetic leaflets made from animal tissues are used in the majority of surgical and transcatheter cardiac valve replacements. This study develops a new surgical bioprosthesis, using porcine pericardial leaflets. Porcine pericardium was obtained from genetically engineered pigs with a mutation in the GGTA-1 gene (GTKO) and fixed in 0.6% glutaraldehyde, and used to develop a new surgical valve design. The valves underwent in vitro hydrodynamic test in a pulse duplicator and high-cycled accelerated wear testing and were evaluated for acute haemodynamics and thrombogenicity in a juvenile sheep implant study for 48 h. The porcine surgical pericardial heart valves (pSPHVs) exhibited excellent hydrodynamics and reached 200 million cycles of in vitro durability, with no observable damage. Juvenile sheep implants demonstrated normal valve function with no acute thrombogenic response for either material. The pSPHV incorporates a minimalistic construction method using a tissue-to-tissue design to cover the stent. This new design is a proof of concept alternative to the use of bovine pericardium and synthetic fabric in surgical bioprosthetic heart valves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-337
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of cardiovascular translational research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2019


  • Biological heart valve
  • Calcification
  • Gal knockout
  • Porcine pericardium
  • Xenotransplantation

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