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Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Plant Sciences Institute

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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences





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Valvular heart disease has recently become an increasing public health concern due to the high prevalence of valve degeneration in aging populations. For patients with severely impacted aortic valves that require replacement, catheter-based bioprosthetic valve deployment offers a minimally invasive treatment option that eliminates many of the risks associated with surgical valve replacement. Although recent percutaneous device advancements have incorporated thinner, more flexible biological tissues to streamline safer deployment through catheters, the impact of such tissues in the complex, mechanically demanding, and highly dynamic valvular system remains poorly understood. The present work utilized a validated computational fluid–structure interaction approach to isolate the behavior of thinner, more compliant aortic valve tissues in a physiologically realistic system. This computational study identified and quantified significant leaflet flutter induced by the use of thinner tissues that initiated blood flow disturbances and oscillatory leaflet strains. The aortic flow and valvular dynamics associated with these thinner valvular tissues have not been previously identified and provide essential information that can significantly advance fundamental knowledge about the cardiac system and support future medical device innovation. Considering the risks associated with such observed flutter phenomena, including blood damage and accelerated leaflet deterioration, this study demonstrates the potentially serious impact of introducing thinner, more flexible tissues into the cardiac system.


This is a manuscript of an article published as Johnson, Emily L., Michael C.H. Wu, Fei Xu, Nelson M. Wiese, Manoj R. Rajanna, Austin J. Herrema, Baskar Ganapathysubramanian, Thomas J.R. Hughes, Michael S. Sacks, and Ming-Chen Hsu. "Thinner biological tissues induce leaflet flutter in aortic heart valve replacements." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117, no. 32 (2020): 19007-19016. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2002821117. Posted with permission.

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Available for download on Sunday, January 24, 2021

Published Version