Long term tissue-level durability of the aortic valve (AV) is maintained by the cell populations residing both in the interstitium and on the epithelium. Due to the dynamic environment in which the AV interstitial cells (AVICs) function, recent work has examined the mechano-dependent, biosynthetic and contractile response of these cells [1–4]. Many idealized assumptions have been made about mechanical properties [1, 4], ECM connectivity [2], and deformations that the AVICs undergo during diastole [3]. These assumptions include that the AVICs are elastic, homogenous materials that deformation in an affine sense with the tissue.

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