Maths helping re-design stents for better results

August 25th, 2010 - 6:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 25 (IANS) Stents are to angioplasty what blood is to life. Building better versions can ensure better results in cardiac diseases.
Stents are tiny mesh tubes made from metal alloys that hold blood vessels open after they’ve been clogged with disease-causing plaque.

Although they are designed to be compatible with the human body, stents sometimes cause blood clots and scar tissue formation.

So Suncica “Sunny” Canic, professor of mathematics at the University of Houston in the US, makes computer models to design better stent coating besides studying the strengths and failing of different stent structures.

Computer models track about 200,000 points or nodes along the stent mesh, according to a statement of the University of Houston.

However, Canic simplified the programme with the help of a collaborator from the University of Zagreb in Croatia to achieve the same result with just 400 nodes.

Relying on a simplified model, Canic and her collaborator have examined the designs of several stents to see which structures seem to be the best for specific blood vessels or procedures.

For instance, they found that stents with an “open design” bend easily, which makes them easy to put in curvy coronary arteries.

Canic found that combining flexibility with radial stiffness - where you can bend the stent into a U shape but can’t squeeze the tube shut - produces a stent with less chance of buckling than existing versions.

Canic reports that her collaborators are already putting the results of her simulations into practice.

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