MicroCT Imaging of Heart Valve Tissue in Fluid

S. E. Stephens, M. Bean, H. Surber, N. B. Ingels, H. K. Jensen, S. Liachenko, J. F. Wenk, M. O. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Heart valve computational models require high quality geometric input data, commonly obtained using micro-computed tomography. Whether in the open or closed configuration, most studies utilize dry valves, which poses significant challenges including gravitational and surface tension effects along with desiccation induced mechanical changes. Objective: These challenges are overcome by scanning in a stress-free configuration in fluid. Utilizing fluid backgrounds however reduces overall contrast due to the similar density of fluid and tissue. Methods: The work presented here demonstrates imaging of the mitral valve by utilizing an iodine-based staining solution to improve the contrast of valve tissue against a fluid background and investigates the role of stain time and concentration. Results: It is determined that an Olea europaea oil bath with a relatively high concentration, short stain time approach produces high quality imagery suitable for creating accurate 3D renderings. Conclusions: Micro-CT scanning of heart valves in fluid is shown to be feasible using iodine staining techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-261
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Mechanics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R15 HL145585-01. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. Additional support was provided through NSF Grant Number NSF BCS-1725925 for the University of Arkansas MicroCT Imaging Consortium for Research and Outreach and National Center for Toxicological Research Protocol Number Z999928. The information in these materials is not a formal dissemination of information by the FDA and does not represent agency or policy. Acknowledgements

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Society for Experimental Mechanics.


  • Contrast-enhanced
  • MicroCT
  • Mitral valve
  • μCT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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