Current efforts in tissue engineering center on designing viable replacements to resolve limitations that arise in existing medical technologies such as mechanical and biological valvular prosthetic devices. The realization of such tasks is complicated by the intricate, regionally variant structural and mechanical properties observed in the native aortic valve leaflet (AVL) [1–2, 4]. To design and construct such a valve, a detailed understanding of native leaflet microstructure and function is required. As such, creating a computational framework incorporating structural and functional characteristics spanning from the cell to organ level would be highly valued [3, 6]. The current study utilizes histological sectioning techniques to evaluate and reconstruct the 3D microstructure of the complete AVL. In addition to gaining further insight into leaflet structure function relationships, the current study will lay the basis for the development of analytical tools involving physiologically accurate 3D finite element representations.

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