Bench testing of stents used in bifurcations can provide information on the general properties that influence performance including crossing profile, radial strength, recoil, flexibility and radiopacity. Problems with device delivery can be clarified. Bench testing identified that side branch dilatation caused stent distortion and elucidated correction strategies. Bench testing led to a stent design change adding connectors between hoops to help overcome the clinical problem of longitudinal distortion. Testing on the bench can determine best deployment strategies and showed that a two-step post-dilatation strategy produced the best deployment with "crush" stenting. Scanning electron microscopy showed that withdrawal of a coronary guidewire trapped between a stent (or scaffold) and a mock arterial wall during a provisional side branch stenting strategy caused only mild linear polymer coating damage. Stent fracture can cause adverse clinical events and our repetitive bend test identified the stents most resistant to fracture. Causes of obstruction of the passage of a balloon over a wire through the side of a stent include damage to the catheter tip, complex cell geometry and inadvertent passage of a wire behind a strut. Bench testing plays a major role in validation of computer modelling of bifurcation treatments and flow alterations.
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