Catheters for cardivascular intervention
In some cases of coronary artery disease the artery is narrowed due to the buildup of cholesterol-containing deposits (plaques). In a cardiac catheterization procedure, a specially designed catheter with a tiny balloon is guided through the artery to the narrowed spot and then inflated to widen the artery and increase the blood flow. Sometimes a stent is placed during the procedure to keep the artery open after the balloon is removed.
Testing and optimizing the catheter design
Catheters differ in their ability to reach specific locations without causing tissue damage. The overall performance of a catheter is influenced by, among other things, material selection and geometric choices. Reden conducted a research study on catheter designs, to gain insight in the mechanisms that play a role when delivering a balloon (with stent) to the lesion and crossing it. With that knowledge we can further optimize the catheter design.
The entire catheter system consists of three sections:
- Transfer section
- Target section
- Lesion section
The transfer section
Investigating the transfer section provided insight into (the effect of) the guiding catheter, and the backup support and amplification factor.
The target section
In the target section we identified how catheter designs differ in terms of deliverability and crossability. A 3D parametric model of the catheter was optimized for accuracy and convergence rate. The results of a DoE revealed the effects of important design parameters.
The lesion section
We simulated the production process to get a realistic geometry of the balloon. Furthermore, we investigated the bending stiffness and inflation behavior of the balloon, as well as the effect of its cohesive layer.
After modelling: Design Space Exploration
After experimentally validating the model, we used our Reves DSE software to navigate design space for solutions to optimize the design for lesion crossing.