JOURNAL ARTICLE

Measurement and reconstruction of the leaflet geometry for a pericardial artificial heart valve

Hongjun Jiang, Gord Campbell, Fengfeng Xi
Medical Engineering & Physics 2005, 27 (2): 175-80
15642513
This paper describes the measurement and reconstruction of the leaflet geometry for a pericardial heart valve. Tasks involved include mapping the leaflet geometries by laser digitizing and reconstructing the 3D freeform leaflet surface based on a laser scanned profile. The challenge is to design a prosthetic valve that maximizes the benefits offered to the recipient as compared to the normally operating naturally-occurring valve. This research was prompted by the fact that artificial heart valve bioprostheses do not provide long life durability comparable to the natural heart valve, together with the anticipated benefits associated with defining the valve geometries, especially the leaflet geometries for the bioprosthetic and human valves, in order to create a replicate valve fabricated from synthetic materials. Our method applies the concept of reverse engineering in order to reconstruct the freeform surface geometry. A Brown & Shape coordinate measuring machine (CMM) equipped with a HyMARC laser-digitizing system was used to measure the leaflet profiles of a Baxter Carpentier-Edwards pericardial heart valve. The computer software, Polyworks was used to pre-process the raw data obtained from the scanning, which included merging images, eliminating duplicate points, and adding interpolated points. Three methods, creating a mesh model from cloud points, creating a freeform surface from cloud points, and generating a freeform surface by B-splines are presented in this paper to reconstruct the freeform leaflet surface. The mesh model created using Polyworks can be used for rapid prototyping and visualization. To fit a freeform surface to cloud points is straightforward but the rendering of a smooth surface is usually unpredictable. A surface fitted by a group of B-splines fitted to cloud points was found to be much smoother. This method offers the possibility of manually adjusting the surface curvature, locally. However, the process is complex and requires additional manipulation. Finally, this paper presents a reverse engineered design for the pericardial heart valve which contains three identical leaflets with reconstructed geometry.

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