The influence of thermal treatment on the mechanical characteristics of a PLLA coiled stent

Tré R. Welch, Robert C. Eberhart, Cheng Jen Chuong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


We studied the effects of thermal treatment on the expansive characteristics of a coil-within-coil Poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) fiber stent developed at our institution to improve its mechanical performance and reproducibility. Following fabrication, furled stents were thermally treated at 628C for 25 min. The mechanical characteristics were measured compared with those of untreated stents when both were expanded via sequential balloon catheter pressure loading up to 12 atm. Treated stents reached full diameter at 3 atm and maintained that diameter despite further pressure increases. Using measurements of pressure, diameter, and axial length, we calculated the sequential mechanical work required to unfurl the stent. The mechanical work for complete unfurling of treated stents was significantly less than that required for untreated controls. Little axial dimensional change was observed for treated stents. Treated stents exhibited higher stiffness than controls at all pressure levels and also demonstrated higher resistance to external pressure-induced collapse, as measured in a special apparatus developed in our laboratory. Differential scanning calorimetry measurements indicated higher crystallinity values for fibers used in treated stents compared with controls. SEM examination of striations revealed that treated stents underwent less twist than controls following balloon-induced unfurling. The results indicate that, thermal treatment improves the reorientation and realignment of fiber crystalline structure, and favorably influences on the fiber stress-strain behavior and the expansive mechanical characteristics of the PLLA fiber stents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-311
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials
Volume90 B
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Bioresorbable polymer
  • Crystallinity
  • PLLA stent
  • Thermal treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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