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Biomaterials. 2004 Jul;25(16):3293-302.

Elastin stabilization in cardiovascular implants: improved resistance to enzymatic degradation by treatment with tannic acid.

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501 Rhodes Research Centre, Department of Bioengineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA.


The long-term performance of tissue-derived, glutaraldehyde (Glut)-treated cardiovascular implants such as prosthetic heart valves and vascular grafts is limited by the bio-degeneration of tissue components. While collagen is satisfactorily preserved by Glut, elastin is not stabilized and is highly vulnerable to degradation. The aim of our studies was to develop methods for efficient stabilization of elastin and subsequently reduce its vulnerability towards enzymatic degradation. More specifically, we investigated the use of tannic acid (TA)1 as a novel agent that specifically targets elastin stabilization. Basic investigations on in vitro interactions between Glut, TA and pure aortic elastin provided clear evidence that Glut treatment does not protect elastin from enzymatic degradation. TA bound to elastin in a time-dependent pattern and this binding increased the resistance of elastin to enzymatic degradation. In addition, when TA was used in mixture with Glut, the kinetic of TA binding to elastin was enhanced and this was translated into improved elastin stabilization. Our results clearly documented the superiority of TA as an elastin-stabilizing agent by comparison with the commonly utilized Glut-based tissue crosslinking techniques.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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