, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 869-887
Date: 10 Nov 2012

A computational framework for investigating the positional stability of aortic endografts

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Endovascular aneurysm repair (Greenhalgh in N Engl J Med 362(20):1863–1871, 2010) techniques have revolutionized the treatment of thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysm disease, greatly reducing the perioperative mortality and morbidity associated with open surgical repair techniques. However, EVAR is not free of important complications such as late device migration, endoleak formation and fracture of device components that may result in adverse events such as aneurysm enlargement, need for long-term imaging surveillance and secondary interventions or even death. These complications result from the device inability to withstand the hemodynamics of blood flow and to keep its originally intended post-operative position over time. Understanding the in vivo biomechanical working environment experienced by endografts is a critical factor in improving their long-term performance. To date, no study has investigated the mechanics of contact between device and aorta in a three-dimensional setting. In this work, we developed a comprehensive Computational Solid Mechanics and Computational Fluid Dynamics framework to investigate the mechanics of endograft positional stability. The main building blocks of this framework are: (1) Three-dimensional non-planar aortic and stent-graft geometrical models, (2) Realistic multi-material constitutive laws for aorta, stent, and graft, (3) Physiological values for blood flow and pressure, and (4) Frictional model to describe the contact between the endograft and the aorta. We introduce a new metric for numerical quantification of the positional stability of the endograft. Lastly, in the results section, we test the framework by investigating the impact of several factors that are clinically known to affect endograft stability.