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Application of a mechanobiological simulation technique to stents used clinically

Application of a mechanobiological simulation technique to stents used clinically

Journal of Biomechanics 46(5): 918-924

Many cardiovascular diseases are characterised by the restriction of blood flow through arteries. Stents can be expanded within arteries to remove such restrictions; however, tissue in-growth into the stent can lead to restenosis. In order to predict the long-term efficacy of stenting, a mechanobiological model of the arterial tissue reaction to stress is required. In this study, a computational model of arterial tissue response to stenting is applied to three clinically relevant stent designs. We ask the question whether such a mechanobiological model can differentiate between stents used clinically, and we compare these predictions to a purely mechanical analysis. In doing so, we are testing the hypothesis that a mechanobiological model of arterial tissue response to injury could predict the long-term outcomes of stent design. Finite element analysis of the expansion of three different stent types was performed in an idealised, 3D artery. Injury was calculated in the arterial tissue using a remaining-life damage mechanics approach. The inflammatory response to this initial injury was modelled using equations governing variables which represented tissue-degrading species and growth factors. Three levels of inflammation response were modelled to account for inter-patient variability. A lattice-based model of smooth muscle cell behaviour was implemented, treating cells as discrete agents governed by local rules. The simulations predicted differences between stent designs similar to those found in vivo. It showed that the volume of neointima produced could be quantified, providing a quantitative comparison of stents. In contrast, the differences between stents based on stress alone were highly dependent on the choice of comparison criteria. These results show that the choice of stress criteria for stent comparisons is critical. This study shows that mechanobiological modelling may provide a valuable tool in stent design, allowing predictions of their long-term efficacy. The level of inflammation was shown to affect the sensitivity of the model to stent design. If this finding was verified in patients, this could suggest that high-inflammation patients may require alternative treatments to stenting.

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Accession: 051607358

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PMID: 23398970

DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2012.12.014

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