Surgeons at the Hopital Universitaire de Rennes, France,
are using ANSYS and Therenva’s results in the Operating room

The heart is an amazing and complex organ, one that presents dynamic challenges to medical professionals who treat cardiovascular diseases. Doctors have been able to address a variety of debilitating diseases using both implantable and nonimplantable devices.

Implantable cardiovascular devices — stents, coils and heart valves — and nonimplantable equipment — blood pumps and oxygenators — are becoming increasingly complex as the product specifications become more exacting.

Stent expansion process    

Courtesy Virginia Military Institute.

Artery after stent inflation  

Courtesy Virginia Military Institute.

The study of hemodynamics is critical to device engineering, which can benefit greatly from fluid–structure interaction modeling. ANSYS software can offer the medical community unique solutions to the challenges in this sector. The company’s products uniquely integrate fluid, structure, thermal and, if needed, electromagnetic analysis into a single environment, all of which create an understanding of how cardiovascular devices behave within the human body. At the same time, these analyses are crucial to evaluating how to prevent the side effects inherent in the use of these devices.

Proof is offered through case study applications. ANSYS software can yield critical information about the evolution of clots that can lead to thromboses. As another example, the use of an intravascular stent during angioplasty creates the risk of restenosis, the inflammation of an artery that causes it to narrow and eventually close. Using ANSYS simulation software, medical professionals are able to determine the stresses on the artery wall during the procedure, and then optimize the design of the stent and the procedure to minimize the risks.

Product lifespan is another area in which designers are pushing the boundaries. The fewer surgeries performed to implant a replacement device, the lower the risk to the patient. The gold standard for device longevity is now 10 years or more. Virtual prototyping, including drop test and impact modeling — not confined to electronic devices and parts, it involves effects on the skeleton and inner organs — allows designers to adjust designs for any situation the device may encounter during its lifespan. Combining virtual design and patient-specific geometries with in silico testing improves the chance of FDA approval and CE marking.

ANSYS simulation software gives designers insight into the physics of cardiovascular devices and an understanding of the physiological implications so that problems can be spotted quickly and alternative designs evaluated. This shortens the time devoted to research and manufacturing of devices, and allows a quicker time to market for the device.