In an attempt to develop an improved pericardial substitute, we undertook the development of an epoxy-fixed biological patch with ionically bound heparin. The study was to evaluate the cross-linking characteristics of this newly developed biological patch using its glutaraldehyde-fixed counterpart as a control. In addition, the feasibility of using this newly developed biological patch as a pericardial substitute was assessed in a canine model. In the study, it was observed that the epoxy-fixed biological patch appeared more similar to the native pericardium in colour and was more pliable than its glutaraldehyde-fixed counterpart. Also, both the epoxy- and glutaraldehyde-fixed biological patches had significant increases in fixation index and denaturation temperature as compared to the fresh one (p < 0.05). In the canine study, the epoxy-fixed biological patch with ionically bound heparin was found to have significantly less adhesion formation than those currently used clinically (p < 0.05).
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