Dynamic Blood Vessels and Implications for Medical Devices

Invited Editorial


  • Christopher Cheng




medical devices, biomechanics, blood vessel


The primary function of most vascular stents is to resist radial constriction after angioplasty, and the majority of stent grafts are meant to exclude aneurysms or dissected false lumens. These functions require radial force, however, these devices must also survive vascular deformations. Vascular deformation used to be an afterthought since experts once believed blood vessels had no significant movement aside from cardiac-induced radial pulsatility, but it is now known to be a critical consideration for medical device development. The main drivers of vascular deformation can include cardiac pulsatility, respiration, musculoskeletal motion, and external influences. Since long term implant durability came to the forefront of concern in the early 2000s, it is now entangled into device design, regulation, product positioning, marketing, sales, and corporate strategy. Investment in defining anatomic boundary conditions during the early stages of product development will improve product design and save time and money in the long run.