Balloon angioplasty better, according to materials modeling

Materials researchers at the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering in the UK have modeled the angioplasty/stenting process, and determined that folding balloons worked better in their simulations.

Which kind of angioplasty balloon works better—rubber or folded? Using the finite element method, materials researchers at the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering in the UK have modeled the angioplasty/stenting process, and determined that folding balloons worked better in their simulations. These findings could have implications for angioplasty treatment.

Using the commercially-available ABAQUS finite element modeling package, and modeling the common Xience brand arterial stent, A. Schiavone and L.G. Zhao found that folded balloons required less pressure to fully expand and deploy the stent compared with rubber balloons, in partially constrained arteries.

To accomplish this study, Schiavone and Zhao modeled both the artery-plaque system (including the arterial wall, the intima, media, and adventitia layers, as well as the plaque), in addition to modeling the dynamic unfolding/inflating of the rubber and folded balloons during the stent deployment. Their models and simulations showed better outcomes using folded balloons, which supports the current clinical practice in angioplasty.

Read the entire study in Mechanics of Advanced Materials and Modern Processes here.

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