Current Directions in Biomedical Engineering
Joint Journal of the German Society for Biomedical Engineering in VDE and the Austrian and Swiss Societies for Biomedical Engineering
Editor-in-Chief: Dössel, Olaf
Editorial Board: Augat, Peter / Buzug, Thorsten M. / Haueisen, Jens / Jockenhoevel, Stefan / Knaup-Gregori, Petra / Kraft, Marc / Lenarz, Thomas / Leonhardt, Steffen / Malberg, Hagen / Penzel, Thomas / Plank, Gernot / Radermacher, Klaus M. / Schkommodau, Erik / Stieglitz, Thomas / Urban, Gerald A.
Numerical simulation of a transcatheter aortic heart valve under application-related loading
For the treatment of severe symptomatic aortic valve stenosis, minimally invasive heart valve prostheses have more recently become the lifesaving solution for elderly patients with high operational risk and thus, are often implanted in patients with challenging aortic root configuration. A correct prosthesis deployment and stent adaption to the target region is essential to ensure optimal leaflet performance and long-term prosthesis function. The objective of this study was the development of a suitable in silico setup for structural numerical simulation of a transcatheter aortic valve (TAV) in different cases of clinical relevance. A transcatheter valve prosthesis comprising an unpressurized trileaflet heart valve and an adapted stent configuration was designed. An aortic root (AR) model was developed, based on microcomputed tomography of a native healthy specimen. Using the finite-element analysis (FEA), various loading cases including prosthesis biomechanics with valve opening and closing under physiological pressure ratios throughout a cardiac cycle, prosthesis crimping as well as crimping and release into the developed AR model were simulated. Hyperelastic constitutive law for polymeric leaflet material and superelasticity of shape memory alloys for the self-expanding Nitinol stent structure were implemented into the FEA setup. Calculated performance of the valve including the stent structure demonstrated enhanced leaflet opening and closing as a result of stent deformation and redirected loading. Crimping and subsequent release into the AR model as well as the stent adaption to the target region after expansion proved the suitability of the TAV design for percutaneous application. FEA represented a useful tool for numerical simulation of an entire minimally invasive heart valve prosthesis in relevant clinical scenarios.