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    External support stent is a potential means for restricting the deformation and reducing wall stress of the vein graft, thereby improving the long-term patency of the graft in coronary artery bypass surgery. However, there still lacks a theoretical reference for choosing the size of stent based on the diameter of graft. Taking the VEST (venous external support) stent currently used in the clinical practice as the object of study, we constructed three models of VEST stents with different diameters and coupled them respectively to a model of the great saphenous vein graft, and numerically simulated the expansion-contraction process of the vein graft under the constraint of the stents to quantitatively evaluate the influence of stent size on the radial deformation and wall stress of the vein graft. The results showed that while the stent with a small diameter had a high restrictive effect in comparison with larger stents, it led to more severe concentration of wall stress and sharper changes in radial deformation along the axis of the graft, which may have adverse influence on the graft. In order to solve the aforementioned problems, we ameliorated the design of the stent by means of changing the cross-sectional shape of the thick and thin alloy wires from circle into rectangle and square, respectively, while keeping the cross-sectional areas of alloy wires and stent topology unchanged. Further numerical simulations demonstrated that the ameliorated stent evidently reduced the degrees of wall stress concentration and abrupt changes in radial deformation, which may help improve the biomechanical environment of the graft while maintaining the restrictive role of the stent.

    Citation

    Ran Gao, Fuyou Liang. Numerical study on the mechanical coupling of external vascular stent and vein graft in coronary artery bypass surgery]. Sheng wu yi xue gong cheng xue za zhi = Journal of biomedical engineering = Shengwu yixue gongchengxue zazhi. 2020 Dec 25;37(6):983-989

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    PMID: 33369337

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