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Two-Dimensional Simulation of Platelet Activation in the Hinge Region of a Mechanical Heart Valve

[+] Author Affiliations
V. Govindarajan, H. S. Udaykumar, K. B. Chandran

The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Paper No. SBC2007-175650, pp. 147-148; 2 pages
  • ASME 2007 Summer Bioengineering Conference
  • ASME 2007 Summer Bioengineering Conference
  • Keystone, Colorado, USA, June 20–24, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Bioengineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4798-5
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


The proper functioning of the leaflets of a bi-leaflet mechanical valve requires the use of the hinge mechanism which lets the leaflets pivot to the valve housing and lets it rotate at a specified angle. It has been pointed that the hinge design directly affects the durability of the valve [1]. In Bi-leaflet valves the thrombus formation is mostly observed in the hinge region and also on the valve housing [2]. This may be due to the complex geometry presented by the hinge region, which makes the flow complex making the hinge region a potential site for thrombus formation and accumulation which could pose a threat to the efficient functioning of the valve itself. It was hypothesized that the flow fields with in the hinge region played a major role in thrombus accumulation in the Medtronic parallel valve [3]. Studies have demonstrated that fluid dynamics in the vicinity of valve leaflet and housing at the instant of valve closure may lead to large negative pressure transients across the leaflets [4]. These large pressure gradients present for a small duration of time induces very high velocity squeezed flow through the clearance region between the valve housing and the leaflet tip and through the gaps in the hinge region which has been provided for rotation of the leaflet and washout. The wall shear stress in these regions can be relatively high during the closure phase resulting in platelet activation. This study will focus on the flow through the hinge region and its effect on the platelet activation during the valve closure under Mitral conditions which is the harshest environment for a valve.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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