The effects of cryopreservation on the biological tissue mechanics are still largely unknown. Generalized Maxwell model was applied to characterize quantitatively the viscoelastic behavior of sheep mitral heart valve tissue. Three different groups of specimens are supposed to be tested: fresh tissue specimens (control group), cryopreserved allografts from tissue bank and allografts already used as tissue replacements taken from the animals approximately one year after the surgery. Specific aim of this study is to determine whether or not the treatment used for storage in tissue bank influences significantly the mechanical properties and behavior of the tissue. At the moment, only the first group of specimens was examined. The methodology presented in this paper proved suitable to complete the study.
allograft heart valves, mitral valve, heart valve banking, mechanical properties of cusp tissue, cusp