Numerical study of the uniformity of balloon-expandable stent deployment

J Biomech Eng. 2008 Apr;130(2):021018. doi: 10.1115/1.2904467.


Stents are small tubelike structures, implanted in coronary and peripheral arteries to reopen narrowed vessel sections. This endovascular intervention remains suboptimal, as the success rate is limited by restenosis. This renarrowing of a stented vessel is related to the arterial injury caused by stent-artery and balloon-artery interactions, and a local subsequent inflammatory process. Therefore, efforts to optimize the stent deployment remain very meaningful. Several authors have studied with finite element modeling the mechanical behavior of balloon-expandable stents, but none of the proposed models incorporates the folding pattern of the balloon. We developed a numerical model in which the CYPHER stent is combined with a realistic trifolded balloon. In this paper, the impact of several parameters such as balloon length, folding pattern, and relative position of the stent with respect to the balloon catheter on the free stent expansion has been investigated. Quantitative validation of the modeling strategy shows excellent agreement with data provided by the manufacturer and, therefore, the model serves as a solid basis for further investigations. The parametric analyses showed that both the balloon length and the folding pattern have a considerable influence on the uniformity and symmetry of the transient stent expansion. Consequently, this approach can be used to select the most appropriate balloon length and folding pattern for a particular stent design in order to optimize the stent deployment. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that small positioning inaccuracies may change the expansion behavior of a stent. Therefore, the placement of the stent on the balloon catheter should be accurately carried out, again in order to decrease the endothelial damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary*
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Stents*