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Biomechanical simulations of heart valve biomaterials

Sun, Wei (2004) Biomechanical simulations of heart valve biomaterials. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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For more than 40 years, replacement of diseased natural heart valves with prosthetic devices has dramatically extended the quality and length of the lives of millions of patients worldwide. However, as in many medical therapies today, replacement valves are never as good as natural, healthy valves. Bioprosthetic heart valves (BHV) continue to fail due to structural failure, a result of both poor tissue durability and faulty design. Clearly, an in-depth understanding of the biomechanical behavior of the BHV at both the tissue- and functional prosthesis levels is essential to improving BHV design and the mechanisms of failure. The goal of this research effort was to develop and evaluate a complete process for biomechanical simulations of heart valve biomaterials, with an emphasis on numerical stability and experimental validation. This process started from the collection of appropriate experimental data, formulating and validating a constitutive model, obtaining and refining material parameters, finite element implementation and validation of a constitutive model, and finally finite element simulation of valve deformation. The results of this study indicated that explicit expression of shear behavior was required for proper computational implementation of the exponential Fung pseudo-elastic model and thus, biaxial testing with extension only did not provide sufficient information to constitute a strain energy function for computational implementation. This study also demonstrated that a set of model constraints imposed by the convexity of strain energy function and condition number of elasticity tensor were necessary for numerical stability. When applied to an intact valve, the finite element model demonstrated an overall discrepancy of only 0.0187 strain when compared to experimental validation data, which was within the experimental error. This result underscored the need for rigorous experimentation and constitutive modeling to allow a close match between FE and experiment output. The present study is, to our knowledge, the most rigorously developed and validated model available to date for characterizing valve deformation. It is hoped that the developed approaches will be a valuable tool for evaluating various valve design parameters and will greatly facilitate optimal BHV design.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSacks, Michael Smsacks@pitt.eduMSACKS
Committee MemberVorp, David Avorpda@UPMC.EDU
Committee MemberAntaki, James
Committee MemberScott, Michael
Committee MemberSlaughter, William Swss@engr.pitt.eduWSS
Date: 2 February 2004
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 23 October 2003
Approval Date: 2 February 2004
Submission Date: 26 November 2003
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Bioengineering
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: abaqus; biaxial testing; finite element method; strain energy function; biomechanics; bioprosthetic heart valve
Other ID:, etd-11262003-150806
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:06
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:52


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