An experimental investigation was conducted to determine the magnitude of shear stresses and areas of stasis of several types of prosthetic occluder heart valves. These experiments were performed in a steady-flow test loop using an axisymmetric aortic-shaped test chamber and an aqueous-glycerine solution. The flow loop produced a low-turbulence intensity and uniform mean velocity profile upstream of the test chamber. Tests were perfomed on a Kay-Shiley disk, a Bjork-Shiley tilting disk and Starr-Edwards Models 1260 and 2320 ball prostheses at Reynolds numbers between 2000 and 6200. Momentum transfer and turbulence data were obtained both around and distal to the valve occluders using laser Doppler and hot-film anemometry. The region directly surrounding the valve occluders contained the largest stresses measured. Aortic wall shear measurements revealed magnitudes potentially damaging to the vessel lining. Regions of slowly moving separated flow found to exist in these occluder valve flow fields correlated with clinical findings of thrombus formation.

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