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Validation and Extension of a Fluid–Structure Interaction Model of the Healthy Aortic Valve

Tango, AM; Salmonsmith, J; Ducci, A; Burriesci, G; (2018) Validation and Extension of a Fluid–Structure Interaction Model of the Healthy Aortic Valve. Cardiovascular Engineering and Technology 10.1007/s13239-018-00391-1. Green open access

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Abstract

PURPOSE: The understanding of the optimum function of the healthy aortic valve is essential in interpreting the effect of pathologies in the region, and in devising effective treatments to restore the physiological functions. Still, there is no consensus on the operating mechanism that regulates the valve opening and closing dynamics. The aim of this study is to develop a numerical model that can support a better comprehension of the valve function and serve as a reference to identify the changes produced by specific pathologies and treatments. METHODS: A numerical model was developed and adapted to accurately replicate the conditions of a previous in vitro investigation into aortic valve dynamics, performed by means of particle image velocimetry (PIV). The resulting velocity fields of the two analyses were qualitatively and quantitatively compared to validate the numerical model. In order to simulate more physiological operating conditions, this was then modified to overcome the main limitations of the experimental setup, such as the presence of a supporting stent and the non-physiological properties of the fluid and vessels. RESULTS: The velocity fields of the initial model resulted in good agreement with those obtained from the PIV, with similar flow structures and about 90% of the computed velocities after valve opening within the standard deviation of the equivalent velocity measurements of the in vitro model. Once the experimental limitations were removed from the model, the valve opening dynamics changed substantially, with the leaflets opening into the sinuses to a much greater extent, enlarging the effective orifice area by 11%, and reducing greatly the vortical structures previously observed in proximity of the Valsalva sinuses wall. CONCLUSIONS: The study suggests a new operating mechanism for the healthy aortic valve leaflets considerably different from what reported in the literature to date and largely more efficient in terms of hydrodynamic performance. This work also confirms the crucial role that numerical approaches, complemented with experimental findings, can play in overcoming some of the limitations inherent in experimental techniques, supporting the full understanding of complex physiological phenomena.

Type: Article
Title: Validation and Extension of a Fluid–Structure Interaction Model of the Healthy Aortic Valve
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s13239-018-00391-1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13239-018-00391-1
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2018. Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Fluid–structure-interaction (FSI), Valsalva sinus, Heart valve dynamics, Haemodynamics
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10061004
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