Biomechanical analysis of novel leaflet geometries for bioprosthetic valves

Pearly K. Pandya, Matthew H. Park, Yuanjia Zhu, Y. Joseph Woo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Although bioprosthetic valves have excellent hemodynamic properties and can eliminate the need for lifelong anticoagulation therapy, these devices are associated with high rates of reoperation and limited durability. Although there are many distinct bioprosthesis designs, all bioprosthetic valves have historically featured a trileaflet pattern. This in silico study examines the biomechanical effect of modulating the number of leaflets in a bioprosthetic valve. Methods: Bioprosthetic valves with 2 to 6 leaflets were designed in Fusion 360 using quadratic spline geometry. Leaflets were modeled with standard mechanical parameters for fixed bovine pericardial tissue. A mesh of each design was structurally evaluated using finite element analysis software Abaqus CAE. Maximum von Mises stresses during valve closure were assessed for each leaflet geometry in both the aortic and mitral position. Results: Computational analysis demonstrated that increasing the number of leaflets is associated with reduction in leaflet stresses. Compared with the standard trileaflet design, a quadrileaflet pattern reduces leaflet maximum von Mises stresses by 36% in the aortic position and 38% in the mitral position. Maximum stress was inversely proportional to the square of the leaflet quantity. Surface area increased linearly and central leakage increased quadratically with leaflet quantity. Conclusions: A quadrileaflet pattern was found to reduce leaflet stresses while limiting increases in central leakage and surface area. These findings suggest that modulating the number of leaflets can allow for optimization of the current bioprosthetic valve design, which may translate to more durable valve replacement bioprostheses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-86
Number of pages10
JournalJTCVS Open
StatePublished - Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • bioprosthesis
  • finite element analysis
  • heart valve replacement
  • leaflet biomechanics
  • leaflet stresses

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