Patient-specific finite element analysis of popliteal stenting
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Nitinol self-expanding stents are used for the endovascular management of peripheral artery diseases of the popliteal artery, which is located behind the knee joint. Unfortunately, the complex kinematics of the artery during the leg flexion leads to severe loading conditions, favouring the mechanical failure of the stent, calling for a specific biomechanical analysis. For this reason, in the present study we reconstruct by medical image analysis the patient-specific popliteal kinematics during leg flexion, which is subsequently exploited to compute the mechanical response of a stent model, virtually implanted in the artery by structural finite element analysis (FEA). The medical image analysis indicates a non-uniform configuration change of the artery during the leg flexion, leading to an increase of the vessel curvature above the knee. The computed mechanical response of the stent reflects the non-uniform configuration change of the artery as after the flexion the average stress is higher in the part of the stent located above the knee. Although the proposed analysis is limited to a case-study, it shows the capability of patient-specific FEA simulations to compute the mechanical response of a stent model subjected to the complex and severe loading conditions of the popliteal artery during leg flexion.
KeywordsFinite element analysis (FEA) Biomechanics Popliteal stenting Patient-specific Nitinol
This work is partially funded by: ERC Starting Grant through the Project ISOBIO: Isogeometric Methods for Biomechanics (No. 259229); Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Universitá e della Ricerca through the Project No. 2010BFXRHS; iCardioCloud project by Cariplo Foundation (No. 2013-1779) and Lombardy Region (No. 42938382; No. 46554874). The authors acknowledge MD Mauro Ferrari (clinical support), Eng. Stefania Marconi (medical image elaboration) and the support of Regione Lombardia and CINECA Consortium through the grant LISA 2013 (high-performance computing).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
The authors have no commercial, proprietary, or financial interest in any products or companies described in this paper.
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