Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
A two dimensional laser Doppler anemometer system has been used to measure the turbulent shear fields in the immediate downstream vicinity of a variety of mechanical and bioprosthetic aortic heart valves. The measurements revealed that all the mechanical valves studied, created regions of elevated levels of turbulent shear stress during the major portion of systole. The tissue bioprostheses also created elevated levels of turbulence, but they were confined to narrow regions in the bulk of the flow field. The newer generation of bioprostheses create turbulent shear stresses which are considerably lower than those created by the older generation tissue valve designs. All the aortic valves studied (mechanical and tissue) create turbulent shear stress levels which are capable of causing sub-lethal and/or lethal damage to blood elements.