Patent Number: 6,251,134

Title: Stent with high longitudinal flexibility

Abstract: A stent of high longitudinal flexibility includes multiple ring elements coupled together to be articulating without fixed physical attachment therebetween when the stent is in an unexpanded state, and to uncouple automatically while maintaining their positional relationship when the stent is deployed to an expanded state. The stent is fabricated to offer radial strength suitable for supporting a wall of a vessel, duct or tract of a patient in which the stent is to be implanted, against recoil of the wall in response to deployment of the stent. The fabrication process includes forming a plurality of common ring elements aligned along a longitudinal axis; and fashioning coupling elements on each of the ring elements to mate with and pivot longitudinally relative to coupling elements fashioned on neighboring ring elements without fixed physical attachment between the coupling elements. The coupling elements are constructed to allow withdrawal from their mating relationship when the ring elements are substantially uniformly expanded in diameter during deployment of the stent for complete separation of the ring elements from one another when the stent is in an expanded state. The ring elements may be formed collectively from a hollow tube, with the coupling elements fashioned concurrently therewith; or the ring elements may be formed individually with the respective coupling elements thereon, and subsequently snapped together in longitudinal axial alignment.

Inventors: Alt; Eckhard (Ottobrunn, DE), Poesel; Andreas (Munich, DE)

Assignee: Inflow Dynamics Inc.

International Classification: A61F 2/06 (20060101); A61F 002/06 ()

Expiration Date: 06/26/2018