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A Novel Left Heart Simulator for the Multi-modality Characterization of Native Mitral Valve Geometry and Fluid Mechanics

Abstract

Numerical models of the mitral valve have been used to elucidate mitral valve function and mechanics. These models have evolved from simple two-dimensional approximations to complex three-dimensional fully coupled fluid structure interaction models. However, to date these models lack direct one-to-one experimental validation. As computational solvers vary considerably, experimental benchmark data are critically important to ensure model accuracy. In this study, a novel left heart simulator was designed specifically for the validation of numerical mitral valve models. Several distinct experimental techniques were collectively performed to resolve mitral valve geometry and hemodynamics. In particular, micro-computed tomography was used to obtain accurate and high-resolution (39 μm voxel) native valvular anatomy, which included the mitral leaflets, chordae tendinae, and papillary muscles. Three-dimensional echocardiography was used to obtain systolic leaflet geometry. Stereoscopic digital particle image velocimetry provided all three components of fluid velocity through the mitral valve, resolved every 25 ms in the cardiac cycle. A strong central filling jet (V ~ 0.6 m/s) was observed during peak systole with minimal out-of-plane velocities. In addition, physiologic hemodynamic boundary conditions were defined and all data were synchronously acquired through a central trigger. Finally, the simulator is a precisely controlled environment, in which flow conditions and geometry can be systematically prescribed and resultant valvular function and hemodynamics assessed. Thus, this work represents the first comprehensive database of high fidelity experimental data, critical for extensive validation of mitral valve fluid structure interaction simulations.

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Acknowledgments

This study was funded by a grant from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (R01HL092926). The authors would also like to thank Angela Lin for assisting with microCT imaging and reconstruction, JM Machining and Mark McJunkin for manufacturing of flow loop components, and Roy Tweedy’s for specimen donation.

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There were no conflicts of interest to disclose.

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Correspondence to Ajit P. Yoganathan.

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Associate Editor Jane Grande-Allen oversaw the review of this article.

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Rabbah, JP., Saikrishnan, N. & Yoganathan, A.P. A Novel Left Heart Simulator for the Multi-modality Characterization of Native Mitral Valve Geometry and Fluid Mechanics. Ann Biomed Eng 41, 305–315 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10439-012-0651-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10439-012-0651-z

Keywords

  • Particle image velocimetry
  • Mitral valve
  • Micro-computed tomography
  • Three-dimensional echocardiography