Numerical simulation of opening process in a bileaflet mechanical heart valve under pulsatile flow condition

Yubing Shi, Yong Zhao, Tony Joon Hock Yeo, Ned H.C. Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Background and aim of the study: Most previous computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies of blood flow in mechanical heart valves (MHVs) have not efficiently addressed the important features of moving leaflet and blood-leaflet interaction. Herein, computationally efficient approaches were developed to study these features and to obtain better insight into the pulsatile flow field in bileaflet MHVs. Methods: A simple and effective method to track the moving boundary was proposed, and an efficient method for calculating the blood-leaflet interaction applied. In this way, a CFD code was developed to study the pulsatile flow field around bileaflet MHVs. The CFD code was parallelized on a super-computer to reduce turn-around time in the simulation. The solver was then used to study the opening process in a St. Jude Medical (SJM) size 29 bileaflet MHV. Results: CFD results showed that, in the opening process, the flow field was consistently partitioned into two side channels and a central channel due to the presence of the two leaflets. In the flow field near the surface of the two leaflets, the fluid velocity followed the local surface velocity of the leaflets, thus showing a strong blood-leaflet interaction effect. Throughout the valve-opening process, peak velocities were always observed near the tips of the valve leaflet. The CFD simulation showed that the opening process took ∼0.044 s, which compared well with experimental findings. Conclusion: The new computational approaches were efficient and able to address the moving leaflet and blood-leaflet interaction. The flow field in the opening process of a SJM 29 bileaflet MHV was successfully simulated using the developed solver.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-256
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Heart Valve Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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