Cardiovascular Engineering and Technology

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 88–100 | Cite as

Experimentally Validated Hemodynamics Simulations of Mechanical Heart Valves in Three Dimensions

  • Vinh-Tan Nguyen
  • Yee Han Kuan
  • Po-Yu Chen
  • Liang Ge
  • Fotis Sotiropoulos
  • Ajit P. Yoganathan
  • Hwa Liang Leo


Mechanical heart valves (MHV) have been widely deployed as a routine surgical treatment option for patients with heart valve diseases due to its durability and performance. Understanding hemodynamics of MHV plays a key role in performance assessment as well as design. In this work, we propose a numerical method for simulations of full three dimensional MHV with moving valve leaflets in a typical human cardiac cycle. A cell-centered finite volume method is employed to model incompressible flows in MHV. As the flow experiences from laminar to turbulence over every cardiac cycle, the unsteady Reynolds average Navier–Stokes (URANS) equations is solved with \(k{-}\epsilon\) and Spalart–Allmaras turbulence models to resolve large scaled turbulent eddies in high Reynolds number flow regimes. URANS approach chosen for the balance of turbulence resolution and computational cost shows good agreement with more detailed turbulence models as well as experimental data. For capturing the large amplitude movement of the valves, we develop an optimization-based moving mesh technique with objective functions operating on different mesh quality metrics. The method is capable of extensively providing an effective way to maintain and improve the mesh quality due to large movement of domain boundaries. The numerical results for laminar and turbulent flows are validated against experimental data using Particle Image Velocimetry technique. The simulation is able to capture essential features of flows in MHV. The triple jet structure is observed in the simulations together with a switching of central orifice jet flow from horizontal axis to vertical axis downstream of the leaflets and the results are well compared with the experimental data. The moving mesh technique has enabled us to simulate a whole cardiac cycle with pulsatile physiological conditions and prescribed motions of the leaflets. The simulations can essentially reproduce the varying pressure profiles at the left ventricle and aorta. The wall shear stress and vorticity can then be deduced from the simulation results to further access the valve performance. This study also constitutes an important step towards understanding hemodynamics in MHV and contributing to the advancement in study of improved MHV.


Prosthetic valves Mechanical heart valves Hemodynamics Simulations Navier–Stokes equations Finite volume PIV 


  1. 1.
    Aluri, S., and K. B. Chandran. Numerical simulation of mechanical mitral heart valve closure. Ann. Biomed. Eng. 29:665676, 2001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bluestein, D. W., S. Einav, and N. H. C. Hwang. A squeeze flow phenomenon at the closing of a bi-leaflet mechanical heart valve prosthesis. J. Biomech. 27:1369–1378, 1994.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Brewer, M., L. Diachin, P. Knupp, T. Leurent, and D. Melander. The mesquite mesh quality improvement toolkit. Proceedings of the 12th International Meshing Roundtable, Santa Fe NM, 2003, pp. 239–250.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cheng, R., Y. G. Lai, and K. B. Chandran. Three-dimensional fluid-structure interaction simulation of bileaflet mechanical heart valve flow dynamics. Ann. Biomed. Eng. 32(11):1471–1483, 2004.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dai, M., and D. P. Schmidt. Adaptive tetrahedral meshing in free-surface flow. J. Comput. Phys. 208(1):228252, 2005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dasi, L. P., L. Ge, H. A. Simon, F. Sotiropoulos, and A. P. Yoganathan, Vorticity dynamics of a bileaflet mechanical heart valve in an axisymmetric aorta. Phys. Fluids 19(6), 2007.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dumont, K. Comparison of the hemodynamic and thrombogenic performance of two bileaflet mechanical heart valves using a CFD/FSI model. ASME J. Biomech. Eng. 129:0148–0731, 2007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ferziger, J. H., and M. Peric. Computational Methods for Fluid Dynamics. Berlin: Springer, 1995.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Friedewald, V. E., R. O. Bonow, J. S. Borer, B. A. Carabello, P. P. Kleine, C. W. Akins, W. C. Roberts. The editor’s roundtable: cardiac valve surgery. Am. J. Cardiol. 99:1269–1278, 2007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fukuta H., and W. C. Little: The cardiac cycle and the physiological basis of left ventricular contraction, ejection, relaxation, and filling. Heart Failure Clin. 4(1):111, 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ge, L., H. L. Leo, F. Sotiropoulos, and A. P. Yoganathan. Flow in a mechanical bileaflet heart valve at laminar and near-peak systole flow rates: CFD simulations and experiments. J. Biomech. Eng. 127(5):782–797, 2005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Jamieson, W. R. Current and advanced prostheses for cardiac valvular replacement and reconstruction surgery. Surg. Technol. Int. 10:121–149, 2002.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    King, M. J., J. Gorden, T. David, and J. Fisher. A three-dimensional, time-dependent analysis of flow through a bileaflet mechanical heart valve: comparison of experimental and numerical results. J. Biomech. 29(5):609–618, 1996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    King, M. J., T. David, and J. Fisher. Three-dimensional study of the effect of two leaflet opening angles on the time-dependent flow through a bileaflet mechanical heart valve. Med. Eng. Phys. 19(3):235–241, 1997.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lai, Y. G., K. B. Chandran, and J. Lemmon. A numerical simulation of mechanical heart valve closure fluid dynamics. J. Biomech. 35:881–892, 2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lee, C. S., and K. B. Chandran. Numerical simulation of instantaneous back flow through central clearance of bi-leaflet mechanical heart valve at closure: shear stresses and pressure fields. Med. Biol. Eng. Comput. 33(3):257–263, 1995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lohner, R., and C. Yang. Improved ALE mesh velocities for moving bodies. Commun. Numer. Methods Eng. 12:599–608, 1996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lomtev, I., R. M. Kirby, and G. E. Karniadakis. A discontinuous Galerkin ALE method for compressible viscous flows in moving domains. J. Comput. Phys. 155:128–159, 1999.MathSciNetMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Nkomo, V. T., J. M. Gardin, T. N. Skelton, J. S. Gottdiener, C. G. Scott, and M. Enriquez-Sarano. Burden of valvular heart diseases: a population-based study. Lancet 368:1005–1011, 2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Peskin, C. S. Flow patterns around heart valves: a numerical method. J. Comput. Phys. 10(2):252–271, 1972.MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Peskin, C.S. The fluid-dynamics of heart-valves- experimental, theoretical, and computational methods. Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech. 14:235, 1982.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Reif, T. H. A numerical analysis of back flow between the leaflets of St Jude medical cardiac valve prostheses. J. Biomech. 24(8):733–741, 1991.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Spalart, P. R. Trends in Turbulence Treatments, AIAA 2000-2306, 2000.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Shih, T.-H., W. W. Liou, A. Shabbir, Z. Yang, and J. Zhu. A New Eddy-Viscosity model for high Reynolds number turbulent flows—model development and validation. Comput. Fluids 24(3):227–238, 1995.MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Simon, H. A., L. Ge, F. Sotiropoulos, and A. P. Yoganathan. Simulation of the three-dimensional hinge flow fields of a bileaflet mechanical heart valve under aortic conditions. Ann. Biomed. Eng. 38(3):841–853, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Turitto, V. T., and C. L. Hall. Mechanical factors influencing hemostasis and thrombosis. Thromb. Res. 92:25–31, 1998 .CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Vongpatanasin, W., D. L. Hillis, and R. A. Lange. Prosthetic heart valves. New Engl. J. Med. 335:407–416, 1996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Weller, H. G., G. Tabor, H. Jasak, and C. Fureby. A tensorial approach to computational continuum mechanics using object orientated techniques. Comput. Phys. 12(6):620631, 1998.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Yakhot, V., and S. A. Orszag. Renormalization group analysis of turbulence: I. Basic theory. J. Sci. Comput. 1(1):1–51, 1986.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vinh-Tan Nguyen
    • 1
  • Yee Han Kuan
    • 2
  • Po-Yu Chen
    • 2
  • Liang Ge
    • 3
  • Fotis Sotiropoulos
    • 4
  • Ajit P. Yoganathan
    • 5
  • Hwa Liang Leo
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of High Performance ComputingSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Division of BioengineeringNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Division of Adult Cardiothoracic SurgeryUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  4. 4.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  5. 5.Walter H. Coulter School of Biomedical EngineeringGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations