Isogeometric finite element-based simulation of the aortic heart valve: Integration of neural network structural material model and structural tensor fiber architecture representations.


Zhang W(1), Rossini G(2), Kamensky D(3), Bui-Thanh T(4), Sacks MS(1)(4)(5).
Author information:
(1)James T. Willerson Center for Cardiovascular Modeling and Simulation, Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Science, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA.
(2)Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy.
(3)Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, San Diego, California, USA.
(4)Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Science, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA.
(5)Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA.


The functional complexity of native and replacement aortic heart valves (AVs) is well known, incorporating such physical phenomenons as time-varying non-linear anisotropic soft tissue mechanical behavior, geometric non-linearity, complex multi-surface time varying contact, and fluid-structure interactions to name a few. It is thus clear that computational simulations are critical in understanding AV function and for the rational basis for design of their replacements. However, such approaches continued to be limited by ad-hoc approaches for incorporating tissue fibrous structure, high-fidelity material models, and valve geometry. To this end, we developed an integrated tri-leaflet valve pipeline built upon an isogeometric analysis framework. A high-order structural tensor (HOST)-based method was developed for efficient storage and mapping the two-dimensional fiber structural data onto the valvular 3D geometry. We then developed a neural network (NN) material model that learned the responses of a detailed meso-structural model for exogenously cross-linked planar soft tissues. The NN material model not only reproduced the full anisotropic mechanical responses but also demonstrated a considerable efficiency improvement, as it was trained over a range of realizable fibrous structures. Results of parametric simulations were then performed, as well as population-based bicuspid AV fiber structure, that demonstrated the efficiency and robustness of the present approach. In summary, the present approach that integrates HOST and NN material model provides an efficient computational analysis framework with increased physical and functional realism for the simulation of native and replacement tri-leaflet heart valves.