Sensitivity and downstream influence of the impinging leading-edge vortex instability in a bileaflet mechanical heart valve

Hadi Zolfaghari, Rich R. Kerswell, Dominik Obrist, Peter J. Schmid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Bileaflet mechanical heart valves (BMHV) create unphysiological turbulent flow. Such turbulent flow involves multiple instability mechanisms interacting with one another in a confined geometry. For instance, an impinging leading-edge vortex (ILEV) instability creates disturbances at the leading edge of the valve leaflets, while potentially promoting turbulence downstream of the BMHV (Zolfaghari and Obrist, Phys. Rev. Fluids, vol. 4, 2019). In this article, we use adjoint-based methods to study the structural sensitivity of the ILEV instability in the BMHV, and to quantify the role of this instability in the maximum disturbance energy growth in the wake of the BMHV. We first present a direct numerical simulation to show the effect of the ILEV instability on the turbulent flow in the wake of the valve. Second, we perform a modal linear stability analysis on a two-dimensional subdomain attached to the leading edge of one leaflet. We investigate the sensitivity of the global modes associated with this flow using their adjoints, and then show a passive control scenario using a local feedback source. This results in a partial improvement in the flow oscillations downstream of the leaflets. We finally present a non-modal approach to identify the optimal initial conditions for achieving maximum energy growth at arbitrary locations. We show that, for sufficiently large times, the optimal initial condition for highest energy growth in the wake points at the leading edge, which includes the ILEV instability. Our study illustrates that an improved leading-edge shape can effectively reduce turbulence in the wake of the BMHV.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Apr 10 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2022-09-13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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