In-stent thrombosis is a major complication of stent implantations. Unlike pathological occurrences as in-stent restenosis for instance, thrombosis represents an acute event associated with high mortality rates. Experiments show that low wall shear stress promotes undirected endothelial cell coverage of the vessel wall and therefore increases the risk of thrombus formation. Stent design represents a crucial factor influencing the surface areas of low wall shear stress and thus the incidence of acute in-stent thrombosis. In this study, we present an optimization method for stent designs with minimized thrombosis risk. A generic stent design was developed, based on five different stent design parameters. Optimization was conducted based on computational fluid dynamics analysis and the gradient-free Nelder-Mead approach. For each optimization step, a numerical fluid simulation was performed in a vessel with a reference vessel diameter of 2.70 mm with stent-overexpansion ratio of 1.0:1.1. For each numerical fluid simulation a physiological Reynolds number of 250, resulting in a mean velocity of 0.331 m/s at the inlet and a laminar flow as well as stiff vessel walls were assumed. The impact of different stent designs was analyzed based on the wall shear stress distribution. As a basis for the comparison of different stent designs, a dimensionless thrombosis risk number was calculated from the area of low wall shear stress and the overall stented area. The first two optimization steps already provide a decrease of thrombosis risk of approximately 83%. In conclusion, computational fluid dynamic analyses and optimization methods usind the Nelder-Mead approach represent a useful tool for the development of hemodynamically optimized stent designs with minimized thrombosis risk.
© 2018 the author(s), published by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston
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