Modeling the mitral valve

Alexander D. Kaiser, David M. McQueen, Charles S. Peskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work is concerned with modeling and simulation of the mitral valve, one of the four valves in the human heart. The valve is composed of leaflets, the free edges of which are supported by a system of chordae, which themselves are anchored to the papillary muscles inside the left ventricle. First, we examine valve anatomy and present the results of original dissections. These display the gross anatomy and information on fiber structure of the mitral valve. Next, we build a model valve following a design-based methodology, meaning that we derive the model geometry and the forces that are needed to support a given load and construct the model accordingly. We incorporate information from the dissections to specify the fiber topology of this model. We assume the valve achieves mechanical equilibrium while supporting a static pressure load. The solution to the resulting differential equations determines the pressurized configuration of the valve model. To complete the model, we then specify a constitutive law based on a stress-strain relation consistent with experimental data that achieves the necessary forces computed in previous steps. Finally, using the immersed boundary method, we simulate the model valve in fluid in a computer test chamber. The model opens easily and closes without leak when driven by physiological pressures over multiple beats. Further, its closure is robust to driving pressures that lack atrial systole or are much lower or higher than normal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere3240
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • cardiac modeling
  • heart valves
  • immersed boundary method
  • mitral valve
  • mitral valve mechanics
  • mitral valve modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling the mitral valve'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this