, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 572-579

Estimation of the Shear Stress on the Surface of an Aortic Valve Leaflet

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Abstract

The limited durability of xenograft heart valves and the limited supply of allografts have sparked interest in tissue engineered replacement valves. A bioreactor for tissue engineered valves must operate at conditions that optimize the biosynthetic abilities of seeded cells while promoting their adherence to the leaflet matrix. An important parameter is shear stress, which is known to influence cellular behavior and may thus be crucial in bioreactor optimization. Therefore, an accurate estimate of the shear stress on the leaflet surface would not only improve our understanding of the mechanical environment of aortic valve leaflets, but it would also aid in bioreactor design. To estimate the shear stress on the leaflet surface, two-component laser-Doppler velocimetry measurements have been conducted inside a transparent polyurethane valve with a trileaflet structure similar to the native aortic valve. Steady flow rates of 7.5, 15.0, and 22.5 L/min were examined to cover the complete range possible during the cardiac cycle. The laminar shear stresses were calculated by linear regression of four axial velocity measurements near the surface of the leaflet. The maximum shear stress recorded was 79 dyne/cm2, in agreement with boundary layer theory and previous experimental and computational studies. This study has provided a range of shear stresses to be explored in bioreactor design and has defined a maximum shear stress at which cells must remain adherent upon a tissue engineered construct. © 1999 Biomedical Engineering Society.

PAC99: 8719Rr, 8768+z, 8719Hh, 4262Be, 4727Nz, 0630Gv