The influence of tilting disk valve orientation on pulsatile flow through a curved tube model of the human aorta was studied. Simultaneous, two-component laser Doppler velocimeter measurements were made in a tube having a 22 mm diameter and 41 mm radius of curvature which simulated the average dimensions of the adult aorta. The blood analog fluid had a viscosity of 3.0 cp and matched the refractive index of the glass model aorta. Results at mid-arch showed low turbulence levels in early systole and no influence of valve orientation. During mid-systole, fluid from the ventricle reached mid-arch exhibiting strong influence of valve orientation and increased turbulence levels. With the major orifice of the valve adjacent to the inner curved wall, the peak turbulent shear stress was 307 dynes/cm2 at mid-arch during mid-systole. When the major orifice was rotated 180 degrees, the peak value was reduced to 91 dynes/cm2 at the same location and time. At the exit of the curved section, the flow was independent of the valve orientation and the turbulent shear stress levels were an order of magnitude lower than the peak value at the inlet. This study demonstrated that orienting the major orifice of a tilting disk valve adjacent to the outer curved wall minimized turbulent shear stress levels.

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