Wave reflection and transmission in multiply stented blood vessels

Proc Math Phys Eng Sci. 2017 Jun;473(2202):20170015. doi: 10.1098/rspa.2017.0015. Epub 2017 Jun 7.


Closed circulatory systems display an exquisite balance between vascular elasticity and viscous fluid effects, to induce pulse-smoothing and avoid resonance during the cardiac cycle. Stents in the arterial tree alter this balance through stiffening and because a periodic structure is introduced, capable of interacting with the fluid in a complex way. While the former feature has been investigated, the latter received no attention so far. But periodic structures are the building blocks of metamaterials, known for their 'non-natural' behaviour. Thus, the investigation of a stent's periodic microstructure dynamical interactions is crucial to assess possible pathological responses. A one-dimensional fluid-structure interaction model, simple enough to allow an analytical solution for situations of interest involving one or two interacting stents, is introduced. It is determined: (i) whether or not frequency bands exist in which reflected blood pulses are highly increased and (ii) if these bands are close to the characteristic frequencies of arteries and finally, (iii) if the internal structure of the stent can sensibly affect arterial blood dynamics. It is shown that, while the periodic structure of an isolated stent can induce anomalous reflection only in pathological conditions, the presence of two interacting stents is more critical, and high reflection can occur at frequencies not far from the physiological values.

Keywords: asymptotic analysis; elastic waves; fluid–solid interaction; periodic structures; wave reflection.