Improving blood circulation

Optimus identifies best shape for patient-specific coronary stents

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In the USA, over 600,000 persons died from heart disease last year alone. Coronary heart disease is the narrowing or blockage of coronary arteries, usually caused by hardening or clogging of the arteries. It is a condition in which an artery wall thickens as a result of the accumulation of fatty materials such as cholesterol.

When cardiologists treat narrowed or blocked heart arteries, they typically use off-the-shelf available stents. Placing such stents permanently opens the arteries at locations with build-up of cholesterol-laden plaques. Recent research resulted in an Optimus-managed CFD-based simulation process that optimizes medical intervention for improving local coronary blood circulation.

Speeding up the simulation process by a factor of 10

In this optimization case study, the Optimus design optimization software integrates mesh morphing (using Sculptor) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations (using ANSYS Fluent) into an automated, repeatable process - speeding up the entire simulation campaign by a factor of 10. CFD simulations are used to model the complex fluid dynamics induced by the stenosis (narrowed section of the artery) in its proximal (upstream) and distal (downstream) regions, to investigate innovative ways to improve local blood circulation.

Improving local blood circulation by over 20%

The multi-objective optimization process driven by Optimus progressively reduced the velocity gradient at the stenosis and the pressure on the distal region, revealing a shallow so-called Pareto front. Optimization results underline the need for patient-specific stents that optimize local blood circulation for heart disease patients undergoing medical treatment. Compared to treatment using standard coronary stents, optimized patient-specific stents were found to improve local blood circulation characteristics by over 20%.


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