The influence of a nonlinear resistance element upon in vitro aortic pressure tracings and aortic valve motions

ASAIO J. 2004 Sep-Oct;50(5):498-502. doi: 10.1097/01.mat.0000137038.03251.35.


In vitro testing of biological heart valves requires pressure and flow waveforms closely simulating natural conditions, which are mainly influenced by the characteristics of the vascular system. Simulation of the arterial function in artificial circulations was mostly performed by the useful Windkessel model but sometimes failed by generating inadequate systolic pressures. The integration of a novel nonlinear resistance element may improve the Windkessel function. Native porcine aortic valves were studied in a mock circulation with a novel nonlinear resistance element combined with the Windkessel compared with an aperture plate resistance. Pressure and flow measurements were performed at varying heart rates and stroke volumes and analyzed in the time and frequency domain. Aortic valve motions were evaluated using high speed video recording. With the classical afterload configuration including an aperture plate resistance, the pressure tracings showed a nonphysiologic decrease of pressure during systole after early peak pressure. By integration of the novel nonlinear resistance, peak systolic pressure occured later, peak pressure was higher, and the pressure waveform was more physiologically shaped. Leaflet motions of the aortic valves were less oscillatory and compared well with in vivo characteristics. In conclusion, a novel nonlinear resistance element in a mock circulation has the potential to provide more physiologic aortic pressure waveforms as influencing aortic valve dynamics and thus may be a helpful tool for investigation of biological heart valves.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aortic Valve / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Swine
  • Vascular Resistance*