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A Study Of Balloon Type, System Constraint And Artery Constitutive Model Used In Finite Element Simulation Of Stent Deployment

Alessandro Schiavone, Liguo Zhao
Published 2015 · Engineering
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BackgroundFinite element is an effective tool to simulate stent expansion inside stenotic arteries, which provides an insightful understanding of the biomechanical behaviour of the whole stent-artery system during the procedure. The choice of balloon type, system constraint and artery constitutive model plays an important role in finite element simulation of stent deployment.MethodsCommercial finite element package ABAQUS was used to model the expansion of Xience stent inside a diseased artery with 40% stenosis. The arterial wall, consisting of intima, media and adventitia layers, and the stenotic plaque were described by different hyperelastic models. Both folded and rubber balloons were considered and inflated with a linearly increasing pressure of 1.4 MPa. Simulations were also carried out by considering free, partially and fully constrained arteries.ResultsFolded balloon produces sustained stent expansion under a lower pressure when compared to rubber balloon, leading to increased stress level and enhanced final expansion for the system. Fully constrained artery reduces the stent expansion when compared to free and partially constrained arteries, due to the increased recoiling effect. Stress in the artery-plaque system has higher magnitude for stent expansion in a free artery due to more severe stretch. Calcified plaque limits stent expansion considerably when compared to hypocellular plaque. The negligence of the second stretch invariant in the strain energy potential leads to the disappearance of saturation behaviour during stent expansion. The use of anisotropic artery model reduces the system expansion at peak pressure when compared to the isotropic model, but with an increased final diameter due to reduced recoiling effect. The stress distribution in the artery-plaque system is also different for different combinations of artery and plaque constitutive models.ConclusionsFolded balloon should be used in the simulation of stent deployment, with the artery partially constrained using spring elements with a proper stiffness constant. The blood vessel should be modelled as a three-layer structure using a hyperelastic potential that considers both the first and second stretch invariants as well as the anisotropy. The composition of the plaque also has to be considered due to its major effect on stent deployment.
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