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  Università degli studi di PaviaFacoltà di IngegneriaIstituto Universitario di Studi Superiori di PaviaEucentreIstituto di Matematica Applicata e Tecnologie Informatiche
Computational Mechanics &
Advanced Materials Group
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Aortic VAlve Sparing: toward an innovative PROsthesis design (through the exploitation of advanced materials and computational mechanics)

The main objective of the project is to propose a new, better performing prosthetic aortic root used in a surgical procedure called “aortic valve sparing” to treat certain types of the aortic valve incompetence, a serious heart disease often leading to detrimental health consequences. The main idea of the project is to combine a number of recent developments in advanced materials (in particular, shape memory alloys, or SMA) and their applications to designing biomedical devices with the state-of-the-art computational techniques developed in the past few years for modeling and analysis of fluid-structure interaction. From the medical practitioner’s point of view, the goal aimed at in the project is of very significant importance because it is widely acknowledged that the existing aortic root prostheses need significant improvements.
In order to accomplish this, the project’s team will develop a mathematical model allowing for accurate numerical simulation of the interaction between the prosthetic root, the valve, and the blood flow, in both healthy and deceased aortic root systems. It will also develop a mathematical model aimed at simulating the dynamic behavior of SMA believed to have a potential for the use in cardiosurgical applications. Combining the understanding gained using these two models, the team will determine a number of “candidate” SMA-based prosthesis designs holding a promise of providing better performance than the existing prostheses. Then, the models will be used to assess the candidate designs and to select the best-performing one. Finally, the team will further rely on the numerical simulations in order to “fine-tune” the parameters of the selected design and ensure that its function is as close to that of the native aortic root as possible.

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