Material modeling of cardiac valve tissue: Experiments, constitutive analysis and numerical investigation
A key element of the cardiac cycle of the human heart is the opening and closing of the four valves. However, the material properties of the leaflet tissues, which fundamentally contribute to determine the mechanical response of the valves, are still an open field of research. The main contribution of the present study is to provide a complete experimental data set for porcine heart valve samples spanning all valve and leaflet types under tensile loading. The tests show a fair degree of reproducibility and are clearly indicative of a number of fundamental tissue properties, including a progressively stiffening response with increasing elongation. We then propose a simple anisotropic constitutive model, which is fitted to the experimental data set, showing a reasonable interspecimen variability. Furthermore, we present a dynamic finite element analysis of the aortic valve to show the direct usability of the obtained material parameters in computational simulations.
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Accepted: October 26, 2015; Published Online: November 05, 2015.