Effects of constant static pressure on the biological properties of porcine aortic valve leaflets

Yun Xing, Zhaoming He, James N. Warnock, Stephen L. Hilbert, Ajit P. Yoganathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


An understanding of how mechanical forces impact cells within valve leaflets would greatly benefit the development of a tissue-engineered heart valve. In this study, the effect of constant ambient pressure on the biological properties of heart valve leaflets was evaluated using a custom-designed pressure system. Native porcine aortic valve leaflets were exposed to static pressures of 100, 140, or 170 mmHg for 48 h. Collagen synthesis, DNA synthesis, sulfated glycoaminoglycan (sGAG) synthesis, α-SMC actin expression, and extracellular matrix (ECM) structure were examined. Results showed that elevated pressure caused an increase in collagen synthesis. This increase was not statistically significant at 100 mmHg, but at 140 mmHg and 170 mmHg collagen synthesis increased by 37.5 and 90%, respectively. No significant difference in DNA or sGAG synthesis was observed at elevated pressures, with the exception that DNA synthesis at 100 mmHg decreased. A notable decline in α-SMC actin was observed over the course of the experiments although no significant difference was observed between the pressure and control groups. It was concluded that elevated pressure caused a proportional increase in collagen synthesis of porcine aortic valve leaflets, but was unable to preserve α-SMC actin immunoreactive cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-562
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Aortic valve leaflets
  • Collagen synthesis
  • Tissue engineering


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