Applied mathematics in stent development
Dr Tuoi Vo
Coronary artery disease is a global problem and devising effective treatments is the subject of intense research activity throughout the world. Over the past decade, stents have emerged as one of the most popular treatments. Acting as a supporting scaffold, these small mesh devices are now routinely inserted into arteries where the blood flow has become dangerously restricted. Stents have evolved from bare metal scaffolds to polymer coated drug-delivery vehicles and, more recently, sophisticated fully biodegradable drug delivery configurations. Despite these advances, significant opportunities to improve on arterial stent design remain. Mathematical modelling provides a potentially powerful tool in the analysis and design of stents.
Dr Tuoi Vo, a postdoctoral researcher at MACSI, University of Limerick, organised the minisymposium ‘Applied mathematics in stent development’ at the 19th European Conference on Mathematics for Industry (ECMI 2016) in Spain. There were five contributed talks from members of the newly formed ECMI special interest group ‘Advancing the design of medical stents’. This group is an international network of experts interested in stent research from across Europe, and provides a platform to co-ordinate research efforts and help expedite the development of novel stent designs and technologies.
The talks covered the development of innovative models to help industry optimise and improve the stent design, to identify the key parameters governing the behaviour of the system, to simulate the flow of plasma around complex stent geometries, to identify the drug release mechanism, and to help decrease the number of experimental studies, thereby saving time and money. The minisymposium was opened to researchers with expertise in continuum mechanics, physiological flow modelling, structural and soft tissue mechanics, numerical analysis, mathematical biology and multi-objective optimisation, to name but a few.
The talks included in the minisymposium:
- McGinty. University of Glasgow (Scotland). The role of mathematics in stent development.
- Abdul I. Barakat. Ecole Polytechnique (France). Optimizing the performance of drug-eluting stents: simulations and experiments.
- T. N. Vo. University of Limerick (Ireland). Mathematical models of drug release from polymer-free drug-eluting stents.
- Pontrelli. IAC-CNR, Rome (Italy). Variable porosity coatings as a means of controlling drug release from stents.
- Escuer. University of Zaragoza (Spain). Numerical simulation of drug transport in arterial wall under healthy and atherosclerotic conditions.