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1. US6547818 - Selectively thinned coiled-sheet stents and methods for making them

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[ EN ]

What is claimed is:

1. A stent, comprising:
a generally tubular body having a longitudinal axis and a circumference, and having a size configured for introduction into a body lumen, the tubular body being expandable between a contracted condition for facilitating introduction into a body lumen and an enlarged condition for engaging a wall of a body lumen;
a plurality of cylindrical bands formed in the tubular body, each band comprising a generally zig-zag pattern; and
a plurality of longitudinal connectors extending between and connecting adjacent cylindrical bands, the longitudinal connectors having reduced thickness regions having a thickness t 1 in a radial direction that is substantially smaller than a thickness t 0 of the adjacent cylindrical bands, the longitudinal connectors assuming a substantially straight configuration when the tubular body is in its expanded condition.
 
2. The stent of claim 1, wherein the thickness t1 of the reduced thickness regions is not more than about two thirds the thickness t0 of the cylindrical bands.
 
3. The stent of claim 1, wherein the longitudinal connectors are aligned with one another such that the reduced thickness regions define slots extending about the circumference of the tubular body.
 
4. The stent of claim 1, wherein the generally zig-zag pattern comprises a series of sequential diagonal elements connected to one another and extending about the circumference, the diagonal elements having a generally arcuate shape, all diagonal elements in each band being oriented in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction about the circumference.
 
5. The stent of claim 1, wherein the tubular body is biased towards the enlarged condition.
 
6. The stent of claim 5, wherein the generally zig-zag pattern is expandable between an unstretched condition and a stretched condition, the zig-zag pattern being biased towards the stretched condition above a transition temperature which is substantially below body temperature, thereby at least partially defining the enlarged condition.
 
7. A stent, comprising:
a coiled-up sheet having a longitudinal axis and a circumference, the coiled-up sheet being expandable between a contracted condition for facilitating introduction into a body lumen and an enlarged condition for engaging a wall of a body lumen, the coiled-up sheet comprising overlapping inner and outer longitudinal sections that may slide in the circumferential direction with respect to one another to allow radial expansion;
a plurality of cylindrical bands formed in the coiled-up sheet, each band comprising a generally zig-zag pattern; and
a plurality of longitudinal connectors extending between and connecting adjacent cylindrical bands, the longitudinal connectors having reduced thickness regions having a thickness t 1 in a radial direction that is substantially smaller than a thickness t 0 of the adjacent cylindrical bands, the longitudinal connectors assuming a substantially straight configuration when the coiled-up sheet is in its expanded condition.
 
8. The stent of claim 7, wherein the longitudinal connectors are aligned with one another such that the reduced thickness regions define slots extending about the circumference of the coiled-up sheet, the slots configured for enhancing a bending characteristic of the coiled-up sheet without substantially permanently deforming regions of the coiled-up sheet comprising the slots.
 
9. The stent of claim 7, wherein the longitudinal connectors are biased to extend substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis when the stent is in the expanded condition.
 
10. The stent of claim 7, wherein the coiled-up sheet is biased towards the enlarged condition.
 
11. The stent of claim 10, wherein the generally zig-zag pattern is expandable between an unstretched condition and a stretched condition, the zig-zag pattern being biased towards the stretched condition above a transition temperature which is substantially below body temperature, thereby at least partially defining the enlarged condition.