Design of tissue leaflets for a percutaneous aortic valve
Thesis (MScEng (Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.
In this project the shape and attachment method of tissue leaflets for a percutaneous aortic valve is designed and tested as a first prototype. Bovine and kangaroo pericardium was tested and compared with natural human valve tissue by using the Fung elastic constitutive model for skin. Biaxial tests were conducted to determine the material parameters for each material. The constitutive model was implemented using finite element analysis (FEA) by applying a user-specified subroutine. The FEA implementation was validated by simulating the biaxial tests and comparing it with the experimental data. Concepts for different valve geometries were developed by incorporating valve design and performance parameters, along with stent constraints. Attachment techniques and tools were developed for valve manufacturing. FEA was used to evaluate two concepts. The influence of effects such as different leaflet material, material orientation and abnormal valve dilation on the valve function was investigated. The stress distribution across the valve leaflet was examined to determine the appropriate fibre direction for the leaflet. The simulated attachment forces were compared with suture tearing tests performed on the pericardium to evaluate suture density. In vitro tests were conducted to evaluate the valve function. Satisfactory testing results for the prototype valves were found which indicates the possibility for further development and refinement.