Three-dimensional fluid–structure interaction simulation of the Wheatley aortic valve

Hugo L. Oliveira, Gustavo C. Buscaglia, Rodrigo R. Paz, Facundo Del Pin, José A. Cuminato, Monica Kerr, Sean McKee, Iain W. Stewart, David J. Wheatley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Valvular heart diseases (such as stenosis and regurgitation) are recognized as a rapidly growing cause of global deaths and major contributors to disability. The most effective treatment for these pathologies is the replacement of the natural valve with a prosthetic one. Our work considers an innovative design for prosthetic aortic valves that combines the reliability and durability of artificial valves with the flexibility of tissue valves. It consists of a rigid support and three polymer leaflets which can be cut from an extruded flat sheet, and is referred to hereafter as the Wheatley aortic valve (WAV). As a first step towards the understanding of the mechanical behavior of the WAV, we report here on the implementation of a numerical model built with the ICFD multi-physics solver of the LS-DYNA software. The model is calibrated and validated using data from a basic pulsatile-flow experiment in a water-filled straight tube. Sensitivity to model parameters (contact parameters, mesh size, etc.) and to design parameters (height, material constants) is studied. The numerical data allow us to describe the leaflet motion and the liquid flow in great detail, and to investigate the possible failure modes in cases of unfavorable operational conditions (in particular, if the leaflet height is inadequate). In future work the numerical model developed here will be used to assess the thrombogenic properties of the valve under physiological conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3792
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering
Issue number2
Early online date27 Nov 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Nov 2023


  • artificial heart valve
  • finite element method
  • fluid–structure interaction
  • geometric nonlinearity


Dive into the research topics of 'Three-dimensional fluid–structure interaction simulation of the Wheatley aortic valve'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this