An investigation of regional variations in the biaxial mechanical properties and stress relaxation behaviors of porcine atrioventricular heart valve leaflets

The facilitation of proper blood flow through the heart depends on proper function of heart valve components, and alterations to any component can lead to heart disease or failure. Comprehension of these valvular diseases is reliant on thorough characterization of healthy heart valve structures for use in computational models. Previously, computational models have treated these leaflet structures as a structurally and mechanically homogenous material, which may not be an accurate description of leaflet mechanical response. In this study, we aimed to characterize the mechanics of the heart valve leaflet as a structurally heterogenous material. Specifically, porcine mitral valve and tricuspid valve anterior leaflets were sectioned into six regions and biaxial mechanical tests with various loading ratios and stress-relaxation test were performed on each regional tissue sample. Three main findings from this study were