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Research

Heart Valve Structure and Mechanics

Principal investigator: Hazel SCREEN
Co-investigator(s): Himadri GUPTA and L. Jia
Funding source(s): China Scholarship
 Start: 30-09-2010  /  End: 01-10-2015

Image of interstitial cells within the heart valve showing how they inconnect with long cell processesThe EPSRC funded PhD project is interested in the mechanics of the aortic valve, as we try to determine how the structure tolerates extremely high deformations and rapid loading rates. By understanding the tissue structure throughout the hierarchy, we hope to establish the role of each structural component and how this could be replicated in tissue engineering applications. Further, this information will provide important insights into cell mechanotransduction, and we intend to investigate how matrix turn over maintains the valve, and how changes in the loading environment may lead to calcification.