Mechanical performances of balloon post-dilation for improving stent expansion in calcified coronary artery: Computational and experimental investigations

Pengfei Dong, Hozhabr Mozafari, Juhwan Lee, Yazan Gharaibeh, Vladislav N. Zimin, Luis A.P. Dallan, Hiram G. Bezerra, David L. Wilson, Linxia Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Stent deployment in a calcified coronary artery is often associated with suboptimal outcomes such as stent underexpansion and malapposition. Post-dilation after stent deployment is commonly used for optimal stent implantation. There is no guideline for choosing the post-dilation balloon diameter and inflation pressure. In this work, ex-vivo/in-silico experiments were performed to investigate the efficacy of post-dilation balloon diameter and inflation pressure in improving the stent expansion in a calcified lesion. Post-dilations with three balloon diameters (3 mm, 3.5 mm, and 4 mm) were performed. For each balloon diameter, three inflation pressures (10 atm, 20 atm, and 30 atm) were sequentially applied. In ex-vivo experiments, optical coherence tomography images were acquired during the stenting procedure, i.e., pre- and post-deployment of 3 mm diameter stent, as well as after each post-dilation. The results from in-silico experiments were compared with ex-vivo experiments in terms of lumen area. In addition, stretch ratio analysis was developed to predict the stent-induced lumen area, along with the strain analysis and the in-silico experiments. Results have shown that target lumen area could be achieved with an oversized nominal balloon diameter of +0.5 mm (i.e., 0.5 mm greater than reference lumen diameter) at an inflation pressure of 20 atm. After each post-dilation, fibrotic tissue demonstrated a larger strain, contributing to improved lumen gain. However, minimal changes were observed in calcification. Moreover, a strong correlation (R2 = 0.95) between the stretch ratio of fibrotic tissue and lumen area after each post-dilation was observed. This indicated that the morphology of the fibrotic tissue could be a potential marker to predict the lumen gain. The detailed mechanistic quantifications of a single lesion cannot be generalized to all clinical cases. However, this work could be used to provide a fundamental understanding of the post-dilations, to develop experimental protocols for producing generalized guidelines, and to exploit their potential for optimal pre- and post-stent strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104609
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Balloon diameter
  • Cadaver
  • Calcification
  • Finite element method (FEM)
  • Inflation pressure
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT)
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)
  • Post-dilation
  • Stent expansion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials


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