The total product life cycle (TPLC) of medical devices has been defined by four stages: discovery and ideation, regulatory decision, product launch, and postmarket monitoring. Manufacturers of medical devices intended for use in the peripheral vasculature, such as stents, inferior vena cava (IVC) filters, and stent-grafts, mainly use computational modeling and simulation (CM&S) to aid device development and design optimization, supplement bench testing for regulatory decisions, and assess postmarket changes or failures. For example, computational solid mechanics and fluid dynamics enable the investigation of design limitations in the ideation stage.
To supplement bench data in regulatory submissions, manufacturers can evaluate the effects of anatomical characteristics and expected in vivo loading environment on device performance. Manufacturers might also harness CM&S to aid root-cause analyses that are necessary when failures occur postmarket when the device is exposed to broad clinical use. Once identified, CM&S tools can then be used for redesign to address the failure mode and re-establish the performance profile with the appropriate models.
The Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) wants to advance the use of CM&S for medical devices and supports the development of virtual physiological patients, clinical trial simulations, and personalized medicine. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to describe specific examples of how CM&S is currently used to support regulatory submissions at different phases of the TPLC and to present some of the stakeholder-led initiatives for advancing CM&S for regulatory decision-making.