Real-time in vitro observation of cavitation in a prosthetic heart valve

Theodore C. Lamson, David R. Stinebring, Steven Deutsch, Gerson Rosenberg, John M. Tarbell

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


A technique for real-time in vitro observation of cavitation on a prosthetic heart valve operating in a ventricular assist device under normal physiologic conditions has been developed. Considering the documented observation of cavitation erosion in heart valve components from human explants, and the potential risk of blood damage that cavitation presents, the technique developed in this study may prove useful in the design of prosthetic heart valves and ventricular assist devices. Cavitation of a glycerol blood analog fluid has been documented for a Medtronic/Hall prosthetic heart valve operating in a Penn State Electric Ventricular Assist Device. The ventricular assist device was operated in a mock circulatory system under normal physiologic conditions. The valve was located in the mitral position, with the cavitation occurring on the inlet side after valve closure. Bubble cavitation was seen on the valve occluder face, and vortex cavitation was observed at two locations in the vicinity of the valve occluder and housing. The cavity growth and collapse cycle for these forms of vaporous cavitation was less than 1 msec. Stroboscopic photography and stroboscopic videography with frame grabbing were used to document the cavity life cycle. With beat rate held constant, the cavity duration time was found to decrease with increasing mean venous return pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)M351-M353
JournalASAIO Transactions
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics


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