Mitral regurgitation (MR) occurs with a prevalence of approximately 10 % in patients aged 75 years or older and therefore is one of the most frequent indications for heart valve surgery. During the last decade surgical mitral valve repair (MVR) procedures emerged as the gold standard for the treatment of clinically relevant MR. However, for surgically inoperable or high-risk patients transcatheter-based MVR devices present a valuable treatment option. Within the current study, we developed an experimental setup to investigate the hydrodynamic performance of transcatheterbased MVR devices in vitro. The bicuspid mitral valve (MV) model employed in the experimental setup features a D-shaped MV annulus with d1 = 26.30 mm, d2= 30.05 mm and chordae tendineae with a length of l1= 25 mm attached to two papillary muscle structures. Pressure gradient - volumetric flow rate (Δp-Q) relations were investigated for steady state backward flow with transvalvular pressure gradients ranging from 0.75 mmHg ≤ Δp ≤ 103.13 mmHg. Deionized water at 37 °C with a dynamic viscosity of 1.002 mPa∙s and a density of 998 kg/m3 was used. A test-chamber consisting of a press-fit MV holder and cylindrical in- and outflow tracts were developed. Different designs for the exchangeable press-fit MV holder were manufactured using additive manufacturing technologies providing an optimal fitting for variable MV sizes and pathologies. In- and outflow tracts featuring a diameter of d = 50 mm and a height of h = 60 mm were made from transparent polymethylmethacrylate to allow for easy optical access during measurements. The experimentally investigated Δp-Q relation yields a quadratic correlation for the open MV and a linear correlation for the closed MV. A transvalvular closing pressure of (4.94 ± 0.04) mmHg was measured for the MV model.
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