The purpose of this research is to explore the potential of using carbon-infiltrated carbon nanotubes (CI-CNT) as a material for coronary artery stents. Stents are commonly fabricated from metal, which may not perform as well as many polymers and ceramics in biomedical applications. Pyrolytic carbon, a ceramic, is currently used in medical implant devices due to its preferrable biocompatibility properties. Micro-patterned pyrolytic carbon devices can be created by growing carbon nanotubes, and then filling the space between with amorphous carbon via chemical vapor deposition. We prepared multiple samples of two different planar stent-like flexible geometries and smaller cubic structures out of carbon infiltrated carbon nanotubes. These samples were tested in tension to failure. The cubic structures were used for separate compression tests. We also examined existing auxetic patterns for possible application in the stent designs and a second iteration of design and fabrication was performed using data and understanding obtained from the work in the first iteration. Slight changes were made to the mask design and fabrication processes based on the new geometries and testing considerations. The auxetic planar designs were tested in compression to demonstrate flexibility and collect material data. The testing results show that CI-CNTs can be designed and fabricated into flexible geometries capable of stent-like compression. The samples in this work were found to have moduli ranging from 5 to 27 GPa, with the majority being between 10 and 20 GPa. We also found fracture strength greater than 100 MPa, with it sometimes getting as high as 200 MPa. Lastly, fracture strain values were measured, with the maximum reaching 1.4% and the average between 0.75-1%. We also found that the CI-CNTs material lends itself to fracture at weak locations (if present) before the anticipated fracture strength has been reached and concluded that a tightly controlled process (including fabrication machines) environment is necessary to ensure consistent results and a CI-CNT material whose imperfections have been minimized.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





coronary stent, carbon nanotubes, CNT, microfabrication, compliant mechanism, pyrolytic carbon