This study presents a combined computational and experimental approach for the nonlinear structural simulations of polymeric tri-leaflet aortic valves (PAVs). Nonlinear shell-based and quasi-static finite-element (FE) structural models are generated for a prosthetic valve geometry that includes the leaflets, stents and root materials, such as the bottom base and outside walls. The PAV structural model is subject to an ensemble averaged transvalvular pressure waveform measured from repeated in vitro tests conducted with a left heart simulator. High-resolution optical measurements are used to measure the in vitro kinematics of the leaflets and the stents. Qualitative and quantitative deformation measures are defined in order to compare the predicted kinematics from the PAV models with the in vitro measurements. Six new quantitative deformation metrics are introduced. They include three distances measuring the current PAV geometric center to the leaflet edges while additional three distances define the stent post-to-stent post (SPTSP) distances. The structural model is able to predict the kinematic deformation metrics with maximum errors around 10% especially in systole where the displacements are larger in magnitude. The combined structural modeling with experimental simulations along with the new proposed deformation metrics provide an effective way to study the PAV structural behavior and a path for improving the structural design of prosthetic valves.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge NSF through the Civil and Mechanical Systems (CMS) Division under Grant number 0409514 for supporting part of the computational model development; Tom and Shirley Gurley's, and National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (HL 720621) for supporting the in vitro studies.
- Heart valves
- In vitro testing
- Nonlinear leaflet behavior
- Polymeric aortic valves
- Structural FE simulation