In Vitro Calcification of Bioprosthetic Heart Valves: Investigation of Test Fluids

N. Kiesendahl, C. Schmitz, A. von Berg, M. Menne, T. Schmitz-Rode, J. Arens, U. Steinseifer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Calcification is a major reason for the failure of bioprosthetic heart valves. Therefore, several attempts towards an accelerated in vitro model were undertaken in order to provide a cost- and time-saving method for the analysis of calcification processes. Due to the problem of superficial or spontaneous precipitation, which occurred in the fluids applied, we focused our study on the development of a near-physiological calcification fluid. The desired fluid should not precipitate spontaneously and should neither promote nor inhibit calcification. Eleven different fluid compositions were tested without contact to potentially calcifying materials. Crucial factors regarding the fluid properties were the ionic product, the ionic strength, and the degree of supersaturation concerning dicalciumphosphate-dihydrate, octacalciumphosphate, and hydroxyapatite. The fluids were kept in polyethylene bottles and exposed to a slight vibration within a durability tester at 37 °C. The precipitation propensity was monitored optically and colorimetrically. A structural analysis of the deposits was carried out by x-ray powder diffraction and IR-spectroscopy, which showed the development of the crystal phases that are relevant in vivo. Only two of the fluids did not precipitate. Resulting from the computations of the effective fluid contents, the saturation degree concerning dicalciumphosphate-dihydrate seems to be the key factor for spontaneous precipitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-297
Number of pages16
JournalAnnals of biomedical engineering
Issue number1
Early online date6 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Fluid study
  • Ionic products
  • Ionic strength
  • Spontaneous precipitation
  • Supersaturation


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