Author(s): Savage P, ODonnell BP, McHugh PE, Murphy BP, Quinn DF
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Abstract Cardiovascular stents are metal scaffolds that are used in the treatment of atherosclerosis. These devices are typically composed of very thin struts (< or = 100 microm thickness, for coronary applications). At this size-scale the question arises as to the suitability of using bulk material properties in stent design. This paper investigates the use of finite element analysis to predict the mechanical failure of stent struts, typical of the strut size used in coronary stents. 316 L stainless steel in uniaxial loading was considered. To accurately represent the constitutive behavior of the material at this size-scale, a computational micromechanics approach was taken involving an explicit representation of the grain structure in the steel struts, and the use of crystal plasticity theory to represent the constitutive behavior of the individual grains. The development of the finite element models is discussed and results are presented for the predictions of tensile mechanical behavior as a function of strut thickness. The results showed that using this modelling approach, a size effect, already seen experimentally, is produced. This has significant implications for stent design, especially in the context of the desire to produce smaller stents for small bore neurovascular and peripheral artery applications.
This article was published in Ann Biomed Eng
and referenced in Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials