Stent Design Breakthrough
VASCULAR
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Sunny Canic had just moved to Houston to teach at the university when she met some cardiologists at a party. She’d always had an interest in medicine so she started peppering them with questions. Soon it was apparent to her that her knowledge in mathematics would be useful to help them construct a more efficient stent design; one that may help the body adapt to the stent with more ease and potentially reduce negative side-effects.

Back in her office, Canic began constructing computer models of different stent designs. Previously, computer scientists modeled stents in three dimensions keeping track of about 200,000 nodes or points along the stent. Along with a collaborator in her native Croatia and researchers from Houston Methodist Hospital, Canic wrote a much simpler program approximating the stent as a one-dimensional rod with only 400 nodes to track.

The new model allowed the cardiologists to watch the stent and the blood in action more closely and create specific designs for various procedures. For example, they were able to see that stents with a more open design—one where every other horizontal rod is removed—bend more easily making them more effective in coronary arteries, which tend to be curvy.

These breakthroughs in design and manufacturing happened thanks to Sunny’s chance meeting with cardiologists at a party. But she is not stopping there. She is now researching better stent coating derived from the ear cartilage.

Never Stop.

 

Adapted from Math from the Heart, NIH website. To read the original article go to https://publications.nigms.nih.gov/computinglife/math_heart.htm

 

AP2943228-WBU Rev.A

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