Bileaflet mechanical heart valves (BMHVs) have been widely used to replace native valves. Unfortunately, the design of bileaflet MHVs produces flow fields that may cause damage to blood elements, especially at the hinge area. The objectives of this study are to analyze the flow properties around the hinge area and through the valve, to further understand the cause of blood damage and provide improved designs to reduce the adverse hemodynamic effects of valves that cause platelet activation and damage blood elements. An important part of this improvement is to understand the hemodynamic effects produced by different valve designs, and how the surrounding flow fields affect thromboembolic formation. The hemodynamics of the valve flow is characterized by complex spatial and temporal three-dimensional structures that arise from the pulsatility of the flow, the complexity of the geometry and the flow-dependent motion of the valve leaflets. High fidelity simulations of the valve flow fields throughout the cardiac cycle is required to improve and refine existing valve designs so as to ultimately develop bileaflet MHVs with minimal thromboembolic complications.

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