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The University of Southampton

Research project: Towards Prediction of Paravalvular Leakage and Leaflet Stress Following Deployment of a Balloon-Expandable Transcutaneous Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) Device in Critical Aortic Stenosis: A Computer Simulation Model

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To construct a computer model of a state of the art TAVI device to simulate deployment in a diseased native valve in order to assess the factors associated with paravalvular leakage (PL) and the stresses in the implant leaflets, with a view to formulating beneficial modification.

To date no finite element models of a complete TAVI device deployment have been published. Access to a robust model would allow detailed assessment of modifiable risk factors for common procedural complications including PL and leaflet stress. Data obtained from an accurate computer simulation may lead to the ability to apply structural or procedural interventions.

A representative model of a commonly employed TAVI device (Edwards LifeSciences SAPIEN XT) was computationally designed comprising of five parts: the frame, skirt and three leaflets. Finite element stress analysis can now be applied to this model in order to simulate the device being both crimped and expanded into a native aortic root model. Preliminary computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies are being employed to assess PL and leaflet stresses.

The computational model has been completed (figure 1) and the frame of the device has been successfully crimped and deployed using finite element analysis (figure 2)

With verification of the structural simulation of crimping and expansion, it has been possible to simulate the deployment of the SAPIEN XT TAVI device in a diseased native aortic valve and then assess the extent of PL and the stresses in the implant leaflets. This detailed computer model will allow the design of structural and procedural interventions to modify risk of common procedural complications.

We would like to acknowledge support from Medtronic UK and the Faculties of Medicine and Engineering & the Environment.

Related research groups

Computational Engineering and Design
Computational model of the Edwards LifeSciences SAPIEN XT.
Fig. 1
Finite element analysis of the SAPIEN XT model after deployment.
Fig. 2
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