This study addresses the dynamic response to pulsatile physiological blood flow and pressure of a woven Dacron graft currently used in thoracic aortic surgery. The model of the prosthesis assumes a cylindrical orthotropic shell described by means of nonlinear Novozhilov shell theory. The blood flow is modeled as Newtonian pulsatile flow, and unsteady viscous effects are included. Coupled fluid–structure Lagrange equations for open systems with wave propagation subject to pulsatile flow are applied. Physiological waveforms of blood pressure and velocity are approximated with the first eight harmonics of the corresponding Fourier series. Time responses of the prosthetic wall radial displacement are considered for two physiological conditions: at rest (60 bpm) and at high heart rate (180 bpm). While the response at 60 bpm reproduces the behavior of the pulsatile pressure, higher harmonics frequency contributions are observed at 180 bpm altering the shape of the time response. Frequency-responses show resonance peaks for heart rates between 130 bpm and 200 bpm due to higher harmonics of the pulsatile flow excitation. These resonant peaks correspond to unwanted high-frequency radial oscillations of the vessel wall that can compromise the long-term functioning of the prosthesis in case of significant physical activity. Thanks to this study, the dynamic response of Dacron prostheses to pulsatile flow can be understood as well as some possible complications in case of significant physical activity.

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