An experimental study of pulsatile flow in a compliant aortic root model under varied cardiac outputs

Ruihang Zhang, Yan Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The fluid dynamics of a natural aortic valve are complicated due to the highly pulsatile flow conditions, the compliant wall boundaries, and the sophisticated geometry of the aortic root. In the present study, a pulsatile flow simulator was constructed and utilized to investigate the turbulent characteristics and structural deformation of an intact silicone aortic root model under different flow inputs. Particle image velocimetry and high-frequency pressure sensors were combined to gather the pulsatile flow field information. The results demonstrated the distributions and the variations of the jet flow structures at different phases of a cardiac cycle. High turbulence kinetic energy was observed after the peak systole phase when the flow started to decelerate. Deformations of the aortic root upstream and downstream of the valve leaflets under normal boundary conditions were summarized and found to be comparable to results from clinical studies. The cardiac output plays an important role in determining the strength of hemodynamic and structural responses. A reduction in cardiac outputs resulted in a lower post-systole turbulence, smaller circumferential deformation, a smaller geometric orifice area, and a shortened valve-opening period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number71
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (


  • Aortic root
  • Hemodynamics
  • Particle image velocimetry
  • Pulsatile flow
  • Structural deformation
  • Turbulence


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