Aortic valve leaflet mechanical properties facilitate diastolic valve function.Comput Methods Biomech Biomed Engin. 2010; 13(2):225-34.CM
This work was concerned with the numerical simulation of the behaviour of aortic valves whose material can be modelled as non-linear elastic anisotropic. Linear elastic models for the valve leaflets with parameters used in previous studies were compared with hyperelastic models, incorporating leaflet anisotropy with pronounced stiffness in the circumferential direction through a transverse isotropic model. The parameters for the hyperelastic models were obtained from fits to results of orthogonal uniaxial tensile tests on porcine aortic valve leaflets. The computational results indicated the significant impact of transverse isotropy and hyperelastic effects on leaflet mechanics; in particular, increased coaptation with peak values of stress and strain in the elastic limit. The alignment of maximum principal stresses in all models follows approximately the coarse collagen fibre distribution found in aortic valve leaflets. The non-linear elastic leaflets also demonstrated more evenly distributed stress and strain which appears relevant to long-term scaffold stability and mechanotransduction.