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.