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Experimental research

Virtual bench testing of new generation coronary stents

1. FEops bvba, Gent, Belgium; 2. bioMMeda-IBiTech, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium

Aims: The aim of this study was to compare the stent strut apposition and stent induced vessel wall stresses of currently used coronary stent designs. This may help to better understand their clinical performance and provide the insights necessary for further optimisation.

Methods and results: We compared the stent strut apposition of six different stent designs when deployed (at 12 atm) in an idealised stenosed vessel using a novel approach based on finite element simulations. Additional insights into the mechanical behaviour of the investigated stents were obtained by virtually quantifying the stent induced vessel wall stresses. For the investigated stenosed vessel model, the percentage of malapposed struts (distance to wall > 10 Âµm) ranged between 9% (Integrity stent) and 43% (Promus Element stent). The largest strut-artery distances were observed at the plaque shoulders. The 95 percentile of the axial stress within the intima ranges from 32 (Promus Element stent) to 83 kPa (Liberté stent). Stress peaks were mainly located at the inner curvatures of the vessel model and at the stent ends.

Conclusions: For the investigated case, considerable differences were observed between the studied stent platforms in terms of stent strut apposition and stent induced vessel wall stresses. These differences in mechanical behaviour may help to explain clinical observations.

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