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Modeling artificial heart valves to enhance performance

DEC 08, 2023
Smoothed particle hydrodynamics can simulate blood flow through heart valves to test them non-invasively.
Modeling artificial heart valves to enhance performance internal name

Modeling artificial heart valves to enhance performance lead image

Valves maintain unidirectional flow in the heart. If they fail, artificial heart valves are a reliable replacement. Computational fluid dynamics are used to non-invasively investigate the performance of artificial heart valves. However, conventional simulation techniques struggle due to the complex fluid-structure interaction between blood flow and the moving leaflets.

Laha et al. were able to realistically model a bi-leaflet mechanical heart valve using smoothed particle hydrodynamics. The Lagrangian description of motion used in smoothed particle hydrodynamics allowed them to incorporate the fluid-structure interaction.

The authors simulated various heart valve abnormalities and validated the results with available data. The accuracy of their model means it could be used to enhance the design and performance of heart valves. The versatility of the model would also allow the opportunity for personalized medicine.

“This work introduces a novel approach to model heart valves. Patient specific data could be included to predict valve behavior pre-surgery,” said author Sumanta Laha. “Additionally, the model has the potential to predict optimal valve sizing and guide design modifications, marking a significant stride in advancing artificial heart valve research.”

The researchers believe this method could be used to simulate any cardiovascular fluid-structure interaction and plan to employ smoothed particle hydrodynamics modeling on more diseases and medical devices. In the hopes of one day achieving real-time modeling, they will use these simulations as training data to develop machine learning algorithms that cut down simulation time.

“The adaptable nature of smoothed particle hydrodynamics presents promising avenues for future research in cardiovascular simulations and their translation into clinical decision-making,” Laha said.

Source: “Fluid-structure interaction modelling of bi-leaflet mechanical heart valves using smoothed particle hydrodynamics,” by Sumanta Laha, Georgios Fourtakas, Prasanta Kuamr Das, and Amir Keshmiri, Physics of Fluids (2023). The article can be accessed at https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0172043 .

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