Current Practices in Heart Valve Preservation (part 2)

by Kelvin G.M. Brockbank, PhD
Volume 7, Issue 1 (Spring 2008)

Storage and shipping variables may significantly impact cryopreserved product quality. In this particular article, the focus is on temperature control issues. The AATB (American Association of Tissue Banks) Standards for Tissue Banking state that cryopreserved cardiac allografts shall be maintained at temperatures of –100°C or colder. Heart valves are usually stored below –135°C in vapor phase nitrogen. There have been few published studies of higher (warmer) storage temperatures. Most heart valves are transported using dry shippers that maintain vapor phase nitrogen temperatures. These containment devices are expensive, and the costs for two-way shipping are significant due to their size and weight. Considerable savings could be had if dry ice shippers with temperature excursions warmer than the AATB standard (of up to –70°C) could be employed…

Brockbank KGM. Current Practices in Heart Valve Preservation. BioProcess J, 2008; 7(1): 14-17.