Biomechanical properties and application of glutaraldehyde treated human pericardium in congenital heart surgery

Valts Ozolins, Lauris Smits, Normunds Sikora, Elīna Teivane, Inta Bergmane, Vladimir Kasyanov, Iveta Ozolanta, Aris Lacis

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Introduction: Autologous pericardium can be used in its fresh state, or after chemical fixation with glutaraldehyde solution as a biomaterial for surgical repair of congenital heart anomalies.
The aim of experimental section of this study was to investigate
changes of biomechanical properties of human pericardium,
which was used as patch material for congenital heart surgery,
after harvesting and treatment with glutaraldehyde.
The aim of retrospective clinical study section is to follow up patients after
congenital heart defect correction to find out calcification,
aneurysm formation, resorption or septic events associated with
patch material.
Methods: The protocol of the study was approved by ethics
committee of University Children’s Hospital. After taken out of a
pericardium at the time of operation it was fixed with 0.2%
solution of glutaraldehyde for 6 minutes. Age of patients was
from 1 month to 3 years. Thickness of the samples was measured
by cathetometer KM-6 LOMO. For investigation of biomechanical properties uniaxial tensile tests were performed with testing
machine Zwick-Roell Z010 and data processing software
Testexpert 11.02. There were set up 18 pieces of fresh human
pericardium and 11 pieces of glutaraldehyde-treated human
pericardium with size 3,5 mm x 25 mm. Force – elongation
curves were recorded at rate 5 mm/min. For clinical study single
centre operation and ECHO records from year 1997–2009 was
Results: There is difference (p , 0.05) of ultimate strain (emax)
between fresh pericardium emax 5 0.119 6 0.037 and glutaraldehyde treated human pericardium emax 5 0.098 6 0.015, respectively. There is difference (p , 0.05) of ultimate stress (smax)
between non-treated pericardium smax 5 3.14 6 0.70 MPa and
glutaraldehyde treated human pericardium smax 5 6.20 6 1.47
MPa.There is difference (p , 0.05) of tangential modulus of
elasticity (E) at strain level of 30% between non-treated and
glutaraldehyde treated human pericardium: 98.67 6 20.75 MPa
and 50.25 6 16.04 MPa, respectively. Together in 248 operations
treated autologous pericardium was used. No signs of calcification aneurysm formation, resorption or septic events were
recognize in follow up one to twelve years after correction.
Conclusions: This study shows that human pericardium after
treatment with glutaraldehyde became stiffer and stronger. There
are no significant complications related with pericardial patch
treatment of glutaraldehyde in long term follow up.


  • pediatric cardiac surgery

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine
  • 3.4 Medical biotechnology
  • 2.6 Medical engineering

Publication Type*

  • 3.3. Publications in conference proceedings indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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