Genesis of the Mechanical Heart Valves' Ultrasonic Closing Clicks

Jun HASEGAWA  Kenji KOBAYASHI  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E92-D   No.4   pp.717-722
Publication Date: 2009/04/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E92.D.717
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Biological Engineering
Keyword: 
mechanical heart valve,  clicks,  ultrasonic closing clicks,  cavitaion,  in vitro experiment,  

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Summary: 
A new in vitro experimental tool was developed to study the mechanism of the ultrasonic closing clicks' genesis of mechanical heart valves. Since the newly developed tester adopted compressed air flow directly instead of the blood analog fluid to drive the mechanical heart valve, it is not possibe to generate any cavitation. Closing clicks were measured with a small accelerometer at the surface of the valve holder made of silicone rubber. Ultrasonic closing clicks as well as audible closing clicks, similar to those measured clinically, could be observed using this setup. Thus, it was confirmed that the ultrasonic closing clicks can be generated without the existence of cavitation. Simultaneous measurements of the valve motion were made with a high-speed video camera, and the analysis of the video frames and clicks showed that higher frequency signal components of more than 50 kHz could be generated only at the instant of the closure, which means the collision of the occluder with the housing. Eighteen miniature accelerometers with an area of one square millimeter were developed and stuck on the housing to monitor the distribution of the housing vibrations in detail, and it was found that the vibrations correspond to the ultrasonic closing clicks propagated from the valve stop: the collision point of the occluder with the housing. This fact indicated that the generation of ultrasonic closing clicks are limited to the small area of the collision. From those results, it was concluded that the major origin of the ultrasonic closing clicks' genesis should be the collision of the occluder with the housing.