Finite element modeling of the mitral valve from clinical imaging: a tool to support the optimization of surgical treatment

Emiliano Votta
DEIB, Politecnico di Milano
Thursday 25th February 2016
Aula Seminari "Saleri", VI piano MOX Dipartimento di Matematica, Politecnico di Milano
The mitral valve is a particularly complex apparatus that separates the left atrium from the left ventricle and guarantees unidirectional blood flow from the former to the latter. Mitral valve patholgies have a high prevalence and usually require surgical treatment, repair being preferred to substitution whenever possible. At the same time, though, mitral repair can be complex and the corresponding clinicl outcomes are not always satisfactory. For this reason the improvement of repair techniques and devices remains a focal clinical and research activity. In this process, numerical modelling has been used since the '90s to gain insight into mitral valve biomechanics, so to better understand mitral valve pathophysiology and support the development of more effective surgical approaches. In the last decade in particular, numerical models based on medical imaging have been developed, exploting the detailed anatomical information yielded by medical images. This evolution of the modelling approach has paved the way towards the use of numerical models as a support tool for the patient-specific tailoring of mitral valve surgical repair. In the seminar, the modeling activity carried out in this field by the Biomechanics Research Group at DEIB, Politecnico di Milano, will be presented; the potential of the developed modeling approach will be exemplified through recent clinical applications, and emphasis will focused on current and future developments.