Vascular stents are some of the most commonly implanted medical devices, keeping millions of arteries open to uninterrupted blood flow. Though they tend to work well at first, too many end up being re-stenosed by new deposits of plaque and scar tissue often forms in the vicinity, blocking blood flow through the stent. Typically, renewed patient symptoms are the first indication that restenosis is occurring. Being able to detect the rate of blood flowing through a stent can help identify whether something is amiss.
Researchers at University of British Columbia have developed a vascular stent that has a built-in sensor for measuring blood flow and a radio antenna to transmit the readings to an external device. The technology doesn’t require any changes in implantation procedures and should be applicable to be integrated into existing stents.
The researchers describe the device as “the first angioplasty-ready smart stent.” Dr. York Hsiang, a UBC professor of surgery and a vascular surgeon at Vancouver General Hospital, noted in a press release that “X-rays such as CT or diagnostic angiograms, which are the standard tools for diagnosis, can be impractical or inconvenient for the patient,” said Hsiang. “Putting a smart stent in place of a standard one can enable physicians to monitor their patient’s health more easily and offer treatment, if needed, in a timely manner.”
The new stent has already been tested in laboratory pigs, demonstrating the capabilities it was designed to perform. We look forward to a speedy initiation of in-human trials, as nearly a third of implanted stents end up undergoing restenosis.
Study in journal Advanced Science: Medical Implants: Enabling Angioplasty‐Ready “Smart” Stents to Detect In‐Stent Restenosis and Occlusion…