Math from the Heart: Simulating Stent Design and Coating

Uploaded by NIGMS on 13.09.2010

Math from the Heart: Simulating Stent Design and Coating Research by Suncica “Sunny” Canic Supported by NIGMS (NIH) and NSF
University of Houston mathematician “Sunny” Canic builds computer models to study stents –
tiny mesh tubes used to hold blood vessels open.
Her simulations could improve patients’ health
by helping manufacturers optimize stent design
and helping doctors choose the best stent for a specific procedure.
Supported by a joint grant from the NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences
and the National Science Foundation,
Canic has examined the designs of several stents on the market.
She found that stents with fewer horizontal rods flex easily,
making them ideal for curvy coronary arteries.
She also used the model to design a stent tailored to
an experimental heart valve replacement procedure.
Canic and a collaborator in Croatia did all of this by creating a simplified computer model
that approximates stents as one-dimensional rods.
Traditional models use a cumbersome three-dimensional stent structure.
Canic is also using computer models to see if coating stents with ear cartilage
would lower the risk of scarring and clotting after stent placement.
She simulates different blood thicknesses and flow forces
to see how well the cartilage cells stick to the stent surface.
That tells her cardiologist collaborators what conditions to test in follow-up experiments.
Even as her teammates put the results of her simulations into practice,
Canic says the most rewarding part of her work is using math to solve real-world problems.
Image credits: S. Canic, M. Kosor and J. Tambaca, University of Houston (UH) and University of Zagreb. S. Canic, R. Glowinski, J. Hao and T.W. Pan, UH A. Quaini and S. Canic, UH iStockphoto
Stent animation copyrighted and used with permission of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, all rights reserved.
Produced by Stephanie Dutchen - National Institute of General Medical Sciences - National Institutes of Health - August 2010