Simulated Thin Pericardial Bioprosthetic Valve Leaflet Deformation Under Static Pressure-Only Loading Conditions: Implications for Percutaneous Valves
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Percutaneous aortic valve (PAV) replacement is currently being investigated as an endovascular alternative to conventional open-chest valve surgery for patients with severe aortic stenosis. The results of multi-center clinical trials of PAV devices have been encouraging. However, there are serious adverse events associated with this procedure. Furthermore, long-term durability and safety of PAV need to be studied carefully. In this study, we developed a thin pericardial bioprosthetic valve model, which has similar design features of PAV. We utilized this model to investigate PAV deformation under static, pressure-only loading conditions using Finite Element method. Mechanical properties of PAV leaflet were obtained from planar biaxial testing of glutaraldehyde treated thin bovine pericardium (BP) and porcine pericardium (PP), and characterized by the Fung-elastic model. Simulations were performed to examine the effects of tissue thickness and anisotropy on the valve deformation and stress distribution. The results indicated peak stress and strain occurred in the vicinity of commissures. The peak maximum principal stresses (MPS) were reduced with the increase of leaflet tissue thickness, by 36% and 59% from the mean thickness to 0.35 mm for BP and PP, respectively. The PAV with BP leaflet had a lower peak MPS than that with PP leaflet. Moreover, leaflet material orientation had a significant influence on the peak MPS of PAV.