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Numerical Investigation Of The Intravascular Coronary Stent Flexibility.

Lorenza Petrini, Francesco Migliavacca, Ferdinando Auricchio, Gabriele Dubini
Published 2004 · Engineering, Medicine
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Nowadays stent therapy is widely adopted to treat atherosclerotic vessel diseases. The high commercial value of these devices and the high prototypation costs require the use of finite element analyses, instead of classical trial and error technique, to design and verify new models. In this paper, we explore the advantages of the finite element method (FEM) in order to investigate new generation stent performance in terms of flexibility. Indeed, the ability of the stent to bend in order to accommodate curvatures and angles of vessels during delivery is one of the most significant prerequisites for optimal stent performance. Two different FEM models, resembling two new generation intravascular stents, were developed. The main model dimensions were obtained by means of a stereo microscope, analyzing one Cordis BX-Velocity and one Carbostent Sirius coronary stent. Bending tests under displacement control in the unexpanded and expanded configuration were carried out. The curvature index, defined as the ratio between the sum of rotation angles at the extremes and the length of the stent, yielded comparative information about the capability of the device to be delivered into tortuous vessels and to conform to their contours. Results, expressed in terms of the bending moment-curvature index, demonstrated a different response for the two models. In particular the Cordis model showed a higher flexibility. Lower flexibility in the expanded configurations for both models was detected. However this flexibility depends on how the contact takes place between the different parts of the struts.
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