The Problem with Stents
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the major cause of death in the world. Plaque accumulation in the coronary artery leads to reduced blood flow and oxygen to the heart. In consequence, death of cardiac tissue may occur resulting in a heart attack.
Most CAD patients undergo artery angioplasty and stenting in order to avoid invasive and costly open-heart surgery. In North America today, stents are available as either as bare metal (BM) or coated with a particular drug (usually an ant-coagulant, anti-thrombotic or an anti-proliferative), known as Drug-Eluting Stents (DESs).
However, serious complications of these stents include in-stent restenosis (ISR), delayed healing of vascular endothelial layer, and late stent thrombosis. The DES currently dominate the market, but they also have limitations.
On deployment, cardiac stents can damage (cause a wound) to the inner lining (endothelium) of the blood vessel.
The current paradigm – Drug-Eluting Stents (DES)
DES are designed to only REACT to the consequences of endothelial cell damage – NOT FIX THE UNDERLYING WOUND TO THE INNER LINING OF THE BLOOD VESSEL
There is a need to design and develop new stents that reduce ISR and other complications.
This will improve patient outcomes, safety and reduce the economic burden on our healthcare system.