Open Access Assessing Anticalcification Treatments in Bioprosthetic Tissue by Using the New Zealand Rabbit Intramuscular Model

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The objective of this work was to demonstrate that the New Zealand White (NZW) rabbit intramuscular model can be used for detecting calcification in bioprosthetic tissue and to compare the calcification in the rabbit to that of native human valves. The rabbit model was compared with the commonly used Sprague–Dawley rat subcutaneous model. Eighteen rabbits and 18 rats were used to assess calcification in bioprosthetic tissue over time (7, 14, 30, and 90 d). The explanted rabbit and rat tissue discs were measured for calcium by using atomic absorption and Raman spectroscopy. Calcium deposits on the human valve explants were assessed by using Raman spectroscopy. The results showed that the NZW rabbit model is robust for detecting calcification in a shorter duration (14 d), with less infection complications, more space to implant tissue groups (thereby reducing animal use numbers), and a more metabolically and mechanically dynamic environment than the rat subcutaneous model . The human explanted valves and rabbit explanted tissue both showed Raman peaks at 960 cm–1 which is representative of hydroxyapatite. Hydroxyapatite is the final calcium and phosphate species in the calcification of bioprosthetic heart valves and rabbit intramuscular implants. The NZW rabbit intramuscular model is an effective model for assessing calcification in bioprosthetic tissue.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Research and Development, Edwards Lifesciences, Irvine, California, USA. 2: Research and Development, Edwards Lifesciences, Irvine, California

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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