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Near field flow characteristics of the Bjork-Shiley Monostrut valve in a modified single shot valve chamber

Keefe B Manning, T Michael Przybysz, Arnold A Fontaine, John M Tarbell, Steven Deutsch
ASAIO Journal: a Peer-reviewed Journal of the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs 2005, 51 (2): 133-8
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In certain mechanical heart valves, cavitation has been shown to develop during closure and rebound, leading to valve damage, blood damage, and strokes. Whereas it is uncertain what causes mechanical heart valve related strokes, some evidence suggests that stable bubbles may be the culprits. Previous work has indicated that vortex cavitation may contribute to stable bubble growth. Therefore, in an effort to understand the vortex cavitation, laser Doppler velocimetry data are collected in a plane parallel to and 3 mm away from the major orifice during closure and rebound of a Bjork-Shiley Monostrut mechanical heart valve. A modified single shot chamber is used that incorporates a more realistic near valve geometry than those used in previous studies. The results show the formation of a vortex during closure, which intensifies during rebound and dissipates during the final closing cycle. A regurgitant jet with mean velocities up to 3 m/s through the clearance gap of the valve provides energy to the vortex. During the final closing cycle, the vortex breaks up into asymmetrical, small scale flow patterns. This study provides further evidence that stable bubble formation may stem from the intense vortex cavitation occurring during valve closure and rebound.

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