Laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) recognition of the structural composition of porcine heart valves

Alexander M. Christov, Liying Liu, Shoshona Lowe, Carolyn Icton, Joy Dunmore-Buyze, Derek R. Boughner, Erbin Dai, Alexandra Lucas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Reconstruction and replacement of heart valves with grafts from pig tissue is a common procedure. However, bioprosthetic valves wear out in a shorter time span than mechanical valves. Bioprosthetic valve structure may contribute to degenerative changes that lead to valve failure. There is, at present, no method to examine the structure of a tissue valve prior to implant. Laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) of natural fluorophores is an elegant method developed for the detection of tumors, dermal lesions and atherosclerosis. We have studied LIF as a potential diagnostic technique for analysis of valvular tissue. Using excimer laser excitation, we examined natural fluorescence recorded from porcine aortic, mitral and pulmonary valves. All three valve outflow surface tissue layers are less fluorescent at 390-450 nm than the inflow layers. Immunohistochemical analysis of collagen I and elastin content in inflow and outflow surface layers of all three valves correlated well with LIF intensities and dI/ dλ. values at selected wavelengths. In conclusion, the differences observed in emitted LIF from valve surface layers are found to correlate well with diversity in the structural protein content. The LIF spectroscopic measurements may provide an appropriate tool for examination of tissue valve structure prior to use for implantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-389
Number of pages8
JournalPhotochemistry and photobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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