The effects of a glycerin-based blood analog on the testing of bioprosthetic heart valves

J Biomech. 1989;22(11-12):1185-92. doi: 10.1016/0021-9290(89)90220-0.


Detailed comparisons of aortic valvular flow using saline, with that using a glycerin-based blood analog in a pulse duplicator are reported. The experiments were carried out to determine whether exposure to glycerin caused stiffening of bioprosthetic valve leaflets. For two pericardial bioprostheses and for a mechanical valve we observed a fluid-dependent systolic volume flow, a fluid-dependent regurgitation volume, and fluid-dependent systolic pressure differences. Volume flow changes, both forward and reverse, are independent of valve type. The observed pressure differences, while proportional to fluid density for the mechanical valve, are fluid dependent in a more complicated way for the pericardial valves. However, no trend of changing valvular performance was observed over as much as 80 days of glycerin exposure, indicating that it is unlikely that the fluid-dependent performance was caused by glycerin absorption by the valve leaflets. We conclude that valid performance comparisons between mechanical and bioprosthetic valves may be made using a glycerin-based fluid. Furthermore, it appears that any detailed analysis of the physical mechanisms of valvular flow dissipation will require a properly matched blood analog.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Bioprosthesis*
  • Blood Substitutes*
  • Glycerol / pharmacology*
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis*
  • Heart Valves / drug effects
  • Heart Valves / physiology*
  • Hemodynamics
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Materials Testing
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Sodium Chloride / pharmacology*
  • Time Factors
  • Viscosity


  • Blood Substitutes
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Glycerol