Heart disease is one of the most common causes of death in developed countries. Coronary heart stents have been successfully used since 1987 to help in combating this problem. Angio-stenting provides a non-invasive technique allowing plaque build up in arteries to be spread to the artery walls to reduce the restriction of blood flow. Other typical methods used to combat this problem include angioplasty and open heart surgery. The great advantage stenting provides over these methods is that the once again it is non invasive with the patient recovery time and risk to infection greatly reduced and it also provides an ongoing support of the plaque against the artery walls, thereby reducing the chance of reoccurrence.
Stents are crimped onto an angioplasty balloon inserted through the femoral artery (groin) and are deployed by inflating the balloon. The balloon is then deflated and removed, leaving the stent in place to support the plaque against the artery walls.
This thesis explores the relationship between the pressure applied and the radial expansion. It explores the accuracy of some of the current methods of predicting stent expansion and behaviour. It also looks to provide justification to the some simplifications currently used in the analysis of stents through a comparison with experimental data.