Optimal Mechanical Design of Stents

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Dec 1, 2013 (3 years and 4 months ago)


Project title:

Optimal Mechanical Design of Stents


Dr M. Wheel, Mechanical

and Aerospace

Engineering, room
Lord Hope

0141 548

3307, email




graduate or
student expecting to graduate with a first or upper second class
honours degree (or M

) in

Engineering, Mathematics or Physical Science in


Funding source:

Engineering and Physical Sciences R
esearch Council (EPSRC) Doctoral
Training Grant (DTG)

Project duration:
42 months
Start date:

October 201

An opportunity has arisen within the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at
the University of Strathclyde for a suitably qualified

graduate to undertake a three and a half year

research project investigating the mechanical design of stents

The project is funded by the
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) though the Doctoral Training
t (DTG) scheme and o
ffers a tax
free stipend of approximately £14000 per year throughout
the duration of the project.

A stent is a mechanical device, usually a tubular metallic mesh of cylindrical geometry

that is
deployed in an occluded section of a vessel or passageway wi
thin the body to relieve any
localized flow constriction. The most common use of stents is in coronary arteries where they are
inserted to improve blood flow in a diseased vessel

The principal design requirement of such a
device is to ensure that the mesh

has sufficient circumferential stiffness to withstand the inward
radial loading imposed on it by the surrounding vessel. However, the device must simultaneously
exhibit sufficient flexibility of its major axis to enable location within the curved geometry

of the
recipient vessel. In seeking to optimize these structural design requirements stent manufacturers
have almost universally relied on an empirical approach that involves significant testing of
prototype designs, particularly
in vivo
, which is costly.

The proposed research will aim to develop
an alternative design approach based upon recogni
ing that the underlying mesh like nature of the
stent structure can be regarded as that of an elastic continuum albeit one that is described by a
higher order theo
ry such as micropolar or Cosserat elasticity rather than classical or Cauchy
The project will address this aim through a combination of computer simulation using
finite element (FE) software, analysis and experimentation using mechanical testin
g equipment.
Experience with modern engineering analysis software such as MATLAB or ANSYS would be
beneficial but is not essential.

The student will join an interdisciplinary team within the University currently engaged
relating to stent desig
n in particular and other implanted medical devices more generally

The student can expect to engage with staff in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and
Mathematics as well as the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS).
he team also collaborates with clinicians from the Regional Heart and Lung Centre at the
Golden Jubilee Hospital, Clydebank and stent manufacturers.

Interested applicants who have, or expect to gain, the requisite qualification in the summer of
2013 shoul
d contact Dr Marcus Wheel in the first instance to discuss the application procedure.