Effect of reinforcement volume fraction and orientation on a hybrid tissue engineered aortic heart valve with a tubular leaflet design

Scott E. Stapleton, Ricardo Moreira, Stefan Jockenhoevel, Petra Mela, Stefanie Reese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Transcatheter aortic valve implantation of fibrin-based tissue engineered heart valves with a tubular leaflet construct have been developed as an alternative to invasive traditional surgical heart valve implantation. In general, they are well suited for the pulmonary position, but display insufficient mechanical properties for the aortic position. To enable the application of tissue-engineered valves in the systemic circulation, the tissue is reinforced with a textile scaffold. The current study seeks to compare the effect of varying the fiber volume fraction and orientation of bidirectional textile reinforcement on the closed-valve configuration. An anisotropic large deformation material model based on structural tensors was chosen and the materials were characterized. A finite element model was constructed of the heart valve, and the pinching and suturing of the corners along with application of pressure was simulated. Virtual experiments were conducted with fiber volume fractions of 0.1, 0.01, 0.001, and 0.0001 for ±45° fiber orientations. Furthermore, volume fraction was held at 0.01 and fiber orientations of 0°, ±15°, ±30°, ±45°, ±60°, ±75° and 90° from the tube’s axial direction were simulated and compared. It was shown that increasing the fiber volume fraction decreased the maximum principle strain in the valve, but lead to less closure. Additionally, the effect of fiber orientation affected the strains differently at different locations, depending on the local deformed geometry. This indicates that a non-uniform fiber distribution using tailored fiber placement could be used to optimize reinforcement design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
JournalAdvanced Modeling and Simulation in Engineering Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Anisotropic elasticity
  • Cardiovascular tissue engineering
  • Finite elements
  • Heart valve
  • Large deformations
  • Textile reinforced composite


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