Refined Stress Analysis of Human Aortic Heart Valves

by Altay Cataloglu, Sr. Engr.; Avondale Shipyards Inc., New Orleans, La.; formerly, Research Asst., Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Washington Univ., St. Louis, Mo.,
Richard E. Clark, Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Surgery and Biomedical Engrg., Washington Univ., St. Louis, Mo.,
Phillip L. Gould, (M.ASCE), Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Washington Univ., St. Louis, Mo.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 1, Pg. 135-150

Document Type: Journal Paper


The stress analysis of a human aortic valve is performed with a view toward the design, fabrication, and testing of a new prosthetic trileaflet aortic heart valve. Silicon castings of freshly excised human valves provide an accurate description of the leaflet surface. Close-range photogrammetry was used to obtain a contour map of the surface and digitalized grid point coordinates of sufficient accuracy to compute local curvatures for use in the thin shell finite element method analysis. Both principal stress resultants orientations and contour map representations are plotted. These data provide a highly accurate description of the distribution, directionality, and magnitude of the stresses in the normal leaflet of the human aortic valve. The results indicate that at a pressure of 114.7 mm Hg, with a nominal leaflet thickness of 0.6 mm, the maximum in-plane stress is about 23 g/mm².

Subject Headings: Stress analysis | Finite element method | Human factors | Valves | Mapping | Fabrication | Material tests | Silica

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