Multi-scale modelling of textile reinforced artificial tubular aortic heart valves
Tissue engineered heart valves equivalent to the native aortic heart valves are in development as an alternative to available prostheses. To achieve sufficient mechanical stiffness for application in tissue engineered valves exposed to the systemic circulation, the tissue is reinforced by a textile scaffold. Mechanical testing of structurally different textiles used as reinforcement in tissue engineered heart valves is expensive and time-consuming. The current study seeks to predict the behaviour of textile reinforced artificial heart valves using a multi-scale modelling approach. The complex textile structure was divided into simplified models at different scales. Virtual experiments were conducted on each of these models and their response was fitted by appropriate isotropic and anisotropic hyperelastic material models. The textile response was then used in a macro heart valve model, which was subjected to dynamic cardiac loading. It was shown that the current modelling approach is in good agreement with the real valve behaviour.
KeywordsTextile reinforced composite Artificial heart valve Multi-scale modelling Anisotropic elasticity Finite elements
This research was partially funded by the Integrated Interdisciplinary Institute of Technology for Medicine (I3TM) of RWTH Aachen University, through the Seed-Fund SF-14-04-08, “Hybrid scaffold for a transcatheter tissue engineered aortic valve”. Additional funding was provided by the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013-ITN ‘TECAS’ under REA Grant Agreement 317512. The authors would additionally like to thank Bertram Stier for his script to apply periodic boundary conditions and for helpful discussion and support.
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