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Research Papers

Optimization and Evaluation of a Vascular Coupling Device for End-to-End Anastomosis: A Finite-Element Analysis

[+] Author and Article Information
Huizhong Li

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Utah,
50 S Central Campus Drive,
Room 2110,
Salt Lake City, UT 84112;
Department of Surgery,
School of Medicine,
University of Utah,
30 N 1900 E,
Salt Lake City, UT 84132
e-mail: lizzylee2526@gmail.com

Jay Agarwal, Brittany Coats

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Utah,
50 S Central Campus Drive,
Room 2110,
Salt Lake City, UT 84112;
Department of Surgery,
School of Medicine,
University of Utah,
30 N 1900 E,
Salt Lake City, UT 84132

Bruce K. Gale

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Utah,
50 S Central Campus Drive,
Room 2110,
Salt Lake City, UT 84112;
Department of Surgery,
School of Medicine,
University of Utah, 30 N 1900 E,
Salt Lake City, UT 84132
e-mail: bruce.gale@utah.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received May 20, 2015; final manuscript received October 11, 2015; published online November 16, 2015. Editor: Rupak K. Banerjee.

J. Med. Devices 10(1), 011003 (Nov 16, 2015) (7 pages) Paper No: MED-15-1189; doi: 10.1115/1.4031810 History: Received May 20, 2015; Revised October 11, 2015

Currently, end-to-end anastomosis of blood vessels is performed using suturing, which is time consuming, expensive, and subject to large degrees of human error. One promising alternative is a ring–pin coupling device. This device has been shown to be useful for venous anastomosis, but lacks the versatility necessary for arterial applications. The purpose of this study was to optimize a vascular coupling design that could be used for arteries and veins of various sizes. To achieve this, finite-element (FE) analysis was used to simulate the vessel–device interaction during anastomosis. Parametric simulations were performed to optimize the number of pins, the wing pivot point, and the pin offset of the design. The interaction of the coupler with various blood vessel sizes was also evaluated. Maximum strain in the vessel wall increased with the number of pins. The positions of the wings and pins were also important in dictating maximum strain, and improper dimensions lead to failure of the installation process. Extra force applied to the distal end of the vessel, or a supplementary tool, will be required during the coupler installation process to prevent vessels less than 3 mm inner diameter (0.5 mm wall thickness) from slipping off the coupler.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

(a) Image showing the vascular coupler in its starting configuration. The free end of a blood vessel is slid through the center of the ring. (b) The six pins are then pushed toward the center of the coupler to penetrate the vessel wall. (c) The wings and pins are rotated 90 deg to open the vessel and couple with the free end of the mating vessel, which is attached to a second coupler.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

(a) The coupler model in solidworks. (b) The pin offset was defined as the distance between the pin center (line 1) and the top edge of the ring base (line 2). (c) The wing pivot dimension was defined as the distance between the distal edge of the pin (line 2) and the inner diameter edge of the ring base (line 3).

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Fig. 3

(a) The FE model of the coupling device with four pins and (b) a porcine artery stretched open with a four-pin coupling device

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Fig. 4

The maximum strain in the vessel wall during the stretching process for different numbers of pins

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Fig. 6

Vessel deformation at the initial and final status for the (a) base blood vessel model with 5 mm outer and 4 mm inner diameter, (b) medium blood vessel model with 4 mm outer and 3 mm inner diameter, and (c) small blood vessel model with 3 mm outer and 2 mm inner diameter

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Fig. 5

The maximum strain in the vessel wall increases with the wing pivot point location. The maximum strain in the vessel wall first increases with the pin offset and then decreases due to the vessel end slipping off from the pins. *Vessel began to slip off the pin and **vessel completely slipped off the pin.

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