Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
New York University
October 25, 2016
Modeling the Mitral Valve
The mitral valve is one of four valves in the human heart. The valve opens to allow oxygenated blood from the lungs to fill the left ventricle, and closes when the ventricle contracts to prevent backflow. The valve is composed of two fibrous leaflets which hang from a ring. These leaflets are supported like a parachute by a system of strings called chordae tendineae. In this talk, I will describe a new computational model of the mitral valve. To generate geometry, general information comes from classical anatomy texts and the author's dissection of porcine hearts. An MRI image of a human heart is used to locate the tips of the papillary muscles, which anchor the chordae tendineae, in relation to the mitral ring. The initial configurations of the valve leaflets and chordae tendineae are found by solving solving an equilibrium elasticity problem. The valve is then simulated in fluid (blood) using the immersed boundary method over multiple heart cycles in a model valve tester. We aim to identify features and mechanisms that influence or control valve function.