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J Control Release. 2013 Jun 10;168(2):115-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2013.03.014. Epub 2013 Mar 27.

Impact of flow pulsatility on arterial drug distribution in stent-based therapy.

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  • 1Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


Drug-eluting stents reside in a dynamic fluid environment where the extent to which drugs are distributed within the arterial wall is critically modulated by the blood flowing through the arterial lumen. Yet several factors associated with the pulsatile nature of blood flow and their impact on arterial drug deposition have not been fully investigated. We employed an integrated framework comprising bench-top and computational models to explore the factors governing the time-varying fluid dynamic environment within the vasculature and their effects on arterial drug distribution patterns. A custom-designed bench-top framework comprising a model of a single drug-eluting stent strut and a poly-vinyl alcohol-based hydrogel as a model tissue bed simulated fluid flow and drug transport under fully apposed strut settings. Bench-top experiments revealed a relative independence between drug distribution and the factors governing pulsatile flow and these findings were validated with the in silico model. Interestingly, computational models simulating suboptimal deployment settings revealed a complex interplay between arterial drug distribution, Womersley number and the extent of malapposition. In particular, for a stent strut offset from the wall, total drug deposition was sensitive to changes in the pulsatile flow environment, with this dependence increasing with greater wall displacement. Our results indicate that factors governing pulsatile luminal flow on arterial drug deposition should be carefully considered in conjunction with device deployment settings for better utilization of drug-eluting stent therapy.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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