Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), often related to atherosclerosis, are the number one cause of morbidity and mortality in the western world. The social and economical burden of CVDs remains very high, and the importance of better understanding the biomechanics of atherosclerosis cannot be overemphasized.
This work attempts to establish a connection between mechanics and clinical practice, thus opening new avenues for interdisciplinary research. In particular, the author illustrates a computational and experimental methodology, able to accurately (i) analyze the mechanical environment of atherosclerotic lesions, and (ii) simulate the biomechanical aspects of angioplasty interventions. The geometric and material modeling of patient-specific human stenotic lesions is discussed in detail. Particular emphasis is given to the numerical treatment of contact interactions between medical devices (balloon catheter, stent) and arterial wall. Finally, clear biomechanical markers are provided for the clinical assessment of optimal stent configuration and of plaque vulnerability.