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Rate-Dependent and Relaxation Properties of Porcine Aortic Heart Valve Biomaterials

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Objective: This work evaluates the rate-dependent and relaxation properties of native porcine heart valves, glutaraldehyde fixed porcine pericardium, and decellularized sterilized porcine pericardium. Methods: Biaxial tension testing was performed at strain-rates of 0.001 s -1 , 0.01 s -1 , 0.1 s -1 , and 1 s -1 . Finally, relaxation testing for 300 s was performed on all heart valve biomaterials. Results: No notable rate-dependent response was observed for any of the three biomaterials with few significant differences between any strain-rates. For relaxation testing, native tissues showed the most pronounced drop in stress and glutaraldehyde the lowest drop in stress although no tissues showed anisotropy in the relaxation. Conclusions: Increasing the strain-rate of the three biomaterials considered does not increase the stress within the tissue. This indicates that there will not be increased fatigue from accelerated wear testing compared to loading at physiological strain-rates as the increase strain-rates would likely not significantly alter the tissue stress.

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