Finite element modeling represents an established method for the comprehension of the mitral function and for the simulation of interesting clinical scenarios. However, current models still do not include all the key aspects of the real system. We implemented a new structural finite element model that considers (i) an accurate morphological description of the valve, (ii) a description of the tissues’ mechanical properties that accounts for anisotropy and nonlinearity, and (iii) dynamic boundary conditions that mimic annulus and papillary muscles’ contraction. The influence of such contraction on valve biomechanics was assessed by comparing the computed results with the ones obtained through an auxiliary model with fixed annulus and papillary muscles. At the systolic peak, the leaflets’ maximum principal stress contour showed peak values in the anterior leaflet at the strut chordae insertion zone (300 kPa) and near the annulus (200–250 kPa), while much lower values were detected in the posterior leaflet. Both leaflets underwent larger tensile strains in the longitudinal direction, while in the circumferential one the anterior leaflet experienced nominal tensile strains up to 18% and the posterior one experienced compressive strains up to 23% associated with the folding of commissures and paracommissures, consistently with tissue redundancy. The force exerted by papillary muscles at the systolic peak was equal to 4.11 N, mainly borne by marginal chordae (76% of the force). Local reaction forces up to 45 mN were calculated on the annulus, leading to tensions of 89 N/m and 54 N/m for its anterior and posterior tracts, respectively. The comparison with the results of the auxiliary model showed that annular contraction mainly affects the leaflets’ circumferential strains. When it was suppressed, no more compressive strains could be observed and peak strain values were located in the belly of the anterior leaflet. Computational results agree to a great extent with experimental data from literature. They provided insight into some of the features characterizing normal mitral function, such as annular contraction and leaflets’ tissue anisotropy and nonlinearity. Some of the computed results may be useful in the design of surgical devices and techniques. In particular, forces applied on the annulus by the surrounding tissues could be considered as an indication for annular prostheses design.
Mitral Valve Finite Element Modeling: Implications of Tissues’ Nonlinear Response and Annular Motion
Stevanella, M., Votta, E., and Redaelli, A. (November 24, 2009). "Mitral Valve Finite Element Modeling: Implications of Tissues’ Nonlinear Response and Annular Motion." ASME. J Biomech Eng. December 2009; 131(12): 121010. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4000107
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