Finite element (FE) modelling can be a very resourceful tool in the field of cardiovascular devices. To ensure result reliability, FE models must be validated experimentally against physical data. Their clinical application (e.g., patients’ suitability, morphological evaluation) also requires fast simulation process and access to results, while engineering applications need highly accurate results. This study shows how FE models with different mesh discretisations can suit clinical and engineering requirements for studying a novel device designed for percutaneous valve implantation. Following sensitivity analysis and experimental characterisation of the materials, the stent-graft was first studied in a simplified geometry (i.e., compliant cylinder) and validated against in vitro data, and then in a patient-specific implantation site (i.e., distensible right ventricular outflow tract). Different meshing strategies using solid, beam and shell elements were tested. Results showed excellent agreement between computational and experimental data in the simplified implantation site. Beam elements were found to be convenient for clinical applications, providing reliable results in less than one hour in a patient-specific anatomical model. Solid elements remain the FE choice for engineering applications, albeit more computationally expensive (>100 times). This work also showed how information on device mechanical behaviour differs when acquired in a simplified model as opposed to a patient-specific model.
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