High Resolution Three-dimensional Strain Mapping of Bioprosthetic Heart Valves using Digital Image Correlation

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Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science, Center for Orthopaedic Biomechanics, Mechanical and Materials Engineering


Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a safe and effective treatment option for patients deemed at high and intermediate risk for surgical aortic valve replacement. Similar to surgical aortic valves (SAVs), transcatheter aortic valves (TAVs) undergo calcification and mechanical wear over time. However, to date, there have been limited publications on the long-term durability of TAV devices. To assess longevity and mechanical strength of TAVs in comparison to surgical bioprosthetic valves, three-dimensional deformation analysis and strain measurement of the leaflets become an inevitable part of the evaluation. The goal of this study was to measure and compare leaflet displacement and strain of two commonly used TAVs in a side-by-side comparison with a commonly used SAV using a high-resolution digital image correlation (DIC) system. 26-mm Edwards SAPIEN 3, 26-mm Medtronic CoreValve, and 25-mm Carpentier-Edwards PERIMOUNT Magna surgical bioprosthesis were examined in a custom-made valve testing apparatus. A time-varying, spatially uniform pressure was applied to the leaflets at different loading rates. GOM ARAMIS® software was used to map leaflet displacement and strain fields during loading and unloading. High displacement regions were found to be at the leaflet belly region of the three bioprosthetic valves. In addition, the frame of the surgical bioprosthesis was found to be remarkably flexible, in contrary to CoreValve and SAPIEN 3 in which the stent was nearly rigid under a similar loading condition. The experimental DIC measurements can be used to characterize the anisotropic materiel behavior of the bioprosthetic heart valve leaflets and validate heart valve computational simulations.

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