On-X Heart Valve Prosthesis: Numerical Simulation of Hemodynamic Performance in Accelerating Systole.
Numerical simulation of the bileaflet mechanical heart valves (BMHVs) has been of interest for many researchers due to its capability of predicting hemodynamic performance. A lot of studies have tried to simulate this three-dimensional complex flow in order to analyze the effect of different valve designs on the blood flow pattern. However, simplified models and prescribed motion for the leaflets were utilized. In this paper, transient complex blood flow in the location of ascending aorta has been investigated in a realistic model by fully coupled simulation. Geometry model for the aorta and the replaced valve is constructed based on the medical images and extracted point clouds. A 23-mm On-X Medical BMHV as the new generation design has been selected for the flow field analysis. The two-way coupling simulation is conducted throughout the accelerating phase in order to obtain valve dynamics in the opening process. The complex flow field in the hinge recess is captured precisely for all leaflet positions and recirculating zones and elevated shear stress areas have been observed. Results indicate that On-X valve yields relatively less transvalvular pressure gradient which would lower cardiac external work. Furthermore, converging inlet leads to a more uniform flow and consequently less turbulent eddies. However, the leaflets cannot open fully due to middle diffuser-shaped orifice. In addition, asymmetric butterfly-shaped hinge design and converging orifice leads to better hemodynamic performance. With the help of two-way fluid solid interaction simulation, leaflet angle follows the experimental trends more precisely rather than the prescribed motion in previous 3D simulations.