Simulation lets kids 'try on' heart valves before surgery

Children born with a certain congenital heart defect often need a percutaneous pulmonary valve surgically inserted when they are 10 to 15 years old.

Engineers and surgeons are using computer simulations to determine if that surgery will be successful and if the necessary valve will fit in the individual’s heart—before the operation takes place.

“To make it simple, it’s like buying jeans,” says Vittoria Flamini, an assistant professor in the mechanical and aerospace engineering department at NYU. “You need to try them on to see if they are going to fit.”

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