Today, hemodialysis is a common therapy to treat people with severe chronic kidney disease. This therapy strongly relies upon the vascular access that connects the patient’s circulation to the artificial kidney and which is obtained by surgically creating an arteriovenous fistula in the arm. However, due to the high flows involved at the venous side and elevated venous pressures, the functioning of venous valves in the arm is significantly disturbed, which too often bring about serious dysfunctions or complications in the patient [1–2]. To this end, research is done to improve the outcome of vascular access in patients on hemodialysis therapy by means of computational modeling [3]. One crucial challenge, however, is experimental validation of these computer models, preferably by using Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) for simulations of flow fields. Yet, the task of modeling the venous valve is daunting because this valve functions at very low physiological pressure differences. Moreover, PIV requires an experimental model to be fully transparent. In this study, we propose an innovative design of a PIV-compatible venous valve model which has the ability to function at minimal pressure differences and which is able to generate valuable PIV data.

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