Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering vol:17 issue:8 pages:813-828
Since their first introduction, stents have revolutionised the treatment of atherosclerosis, however the development of in-stent restenosis still remains the Achilles’ heel of stent deployment procedures. Computational modelling can be used as a means to model the biological response of arteries to different stent designs using mechanobiological models whereby the mechanical environment may be used to dictate the growth and remodelling of vascular cells. Changes occurring within the arterial wall due to stent induced mechanical injury, specifically changes within the extracellular matrix have been postulated to be a major cause of activation of vascular smooth muscle cells and the subsequent development of in-stent restenosis. In this study a mechanistic multiscale mechanobiological model of in-stent restenosis using finite element models and agent based modelling is presented which allows quantitative evaluation of the collagen matrix turnover following stent induced arterial injury and the subsequent development of in-stent restenosis. The model is specifically used to study the influence of stent deployment diameter and stent strut thickness on the level of in-stent restenosis. The model demonstrates that there exists a direct correlation between the stent deployment diameter and the level of in-stent restenosis. In addition, investigating the influence of stent strut thickness using the mechanobiological model reveals that thicker strut stents induce a higher level of in-stent restenosis due to a higher extent of arterial injury. The presented mechanobiological modelling framework provides a robust platform for testing hypotheses on the mechanisms underlying the development of in-stent restenosis and lends itself for use as a tool for optimization of the mechanical parameters involved in stent design.