For the foreseeable future, bioprosthetic heart valves (BHV) fabricated from xenograft biomaterials will remain the dominant replacement prosthetic valve design. However, BHV durability remains limited to 10–15 yrs. Failure is usually the result of leaflet structural deterioration mediated by fatigue and/or tissue mineralization. Thus, independent of valve design specifics (e.g., standard stented valve and percutaneous delivery), the development of novel biomaterials with improved durability remains an important clinical goal. This represents a unique cardiovascular engineering challenge resulting from the extreme valvular mechanical demands that occur with blood contact. In the present study, a fatigue damage model (FDM) based on our structural constitutive model was developed for heart valve tissues.

In the present work, we utilized a mesoscale structural constitutive modeling approach to formulate a novel approach. We start by observing that exogenous cross links (EXLs) induced in native collagenous tissues have profound macro- and microscale effects on tissue micromechanics (Fig....

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