Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis can provide detailed, three-dimensional predictions of blood flow through mechanical heart valves, which can help to optimize valve hemodynamics and reduce the potential for blood clotting. A number of CFD studies, considering both forward and retrograde flow through valves, have been published. In this paper, a geometrically accurate CFD model capable of predicting the three-dimensional, time-dependent flow through an open ATS bileaflet valve is presented. A detailed picture of the blood flow is obtained, including small-scale flow features in the pivot regions. Results from the model can also be used to investigate the opening position of the ATS valve leaflets. Future work will be aimed toward improved models that provide valuable design information while minimizing the development time and computational resources required. Such practical CFD models clearly have the potential to reduce the costs, time scales, and risks associated with development of new heart valve designs.
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