Experimental study of laminar blood flow through an artery treated by a stent implantation: characterisation of intra-stent wall shear stress

J Biomech. 2003 Jul;36(7):991-8. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9290(03)00068-x.


The stimulation of endothelial cells by arterial wall shear stress (WSS) plays a central role in restenosis. The fluid-structure interaction between stent wire and blood flow alters the WSS, particularly between stent struts. We have designed an in vitro model of struts of an intra-vascular prosthesis to study blood flow through a 'stented' section. The experimental artery consisted of a transparent square section test vein, which reproduced the strut design (100x magnifying power). A programmable pump was used to maintain a steady blood flow. Particle image velocimetry method was used to measure the flow between and over the stent branches, and to quantify WSS. Several prosthesis patterns that were representative of the total stent strut geometry were studied in a greater detail. We obtained WSS values of between -1.5 and 1.5Pa in a weak SS area which provided a source of endothelial stimulation propitious to restenosis. We also compared two similar patterns located in two different flow areas (one at the entry of the stent and one further downstream). We only detected a slight difference between the weakest SS levels at these two sites. As the endothelial proliferation is greatly influenced by the SS, knowledge of the SS modification induced by the stent implantation could be of importance for intra-vascular prostheses design optimisation and thus can help to reduce the restenosis incidence rate.

MeSH terms

  • Arteries / physiopathology*
  • Arteries / surgery
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis / adverse effects*
  • Coronary Restenosis / etiology*
  • Coronary Restenosis / physiopathology*
  • Coronary Restenosis / prevention & control
  • Coronary Vessels / physiopathology*
  • Coronary Vessels / surgery
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis / instrumentation
  • Equipment Failure Analysis / methods*
  • Hemorheology / instrumentation*
  • Hemorheology / methods
  • Prosthesis Failure
  • Shear Strength
  • Stents / adverse effects*