Physical and Numerical Modeling of Dissection Propagation in Arteries caused by Balloon Angioplasty

T.C. Gasser (Sweden) and G.A. Holzapfel (Austria)


Artery, Media, Dissection, Balloon Angioplasty, PUFEM.


Arterial dissections caused by balloon angioplasty has been implicated as a contributing factor to both acute procedural complications and chronic restenosis of the treatment site. However, no related biomechanical studies are known in the literature. The mechanical properties of the arterial wall are controlled by the rubber-like protein elastin, ļ¬brous protein collagen and smooth muscle cells. In the media of elastic arteries these constituents are found in thin lay ers that are arranged in repeating lamellar units and favor dissection type of failure. The presented approach models the dissection of the media by means of strong discontinu ities and the application of the theory of cohesive zones. Thereby, the dissection is regarded as a gradual process in which separation between incipient material surfaces is re sisted by cohesive traction. The applied numerical frame is based on the Partition of Unity Finite Element Method (PUFEM) and has been utilized for tetrahedral elements. A tracking algorithm for 3D non-planar cracks captures the evolution of multiple non-interacting dissections. The pro posed concept is applied to investigate the dissection of the media due to balloon angioplasty, where the associated ma terial parameters are determined from failure experiments on human tissue.

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