Vascular Stents

A popular strategy for minimizing restenosis involves the local delivery of cytostatic drugs to the vessel wall by drug-loaded, polymer-coated stents. Unfortunately, the combination of drug and polymers can cause inflammation and delayed re-endothelialization, leading to a higher risk of late thrombosis.

One of the most popular medical treatments for coronary artery disease is the placement of a stent to open the narrowed vessel. While effective in restoring blood flow to the heart, these devices are also associated with two major complications—restenosis and thrombosis. Upon stent implantation, the EC layer is denuded, and an inflammatory process occurs and encourages proliferation of the VSMCs.

An alternative to existing stent technologies may be nanostructured stents. Titanium nanotubes have been shown to enhance endothelial cell (EC) proliferation and motility, decrease vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) proliferation, and decrease expression of molecules involved in inflammation and coagulation in both cell types.

vascular stents diagram 1

Scanning electron micrograph showing growth of titanium nanorods on a vascular stent.

vascular stents diagram 2

Titanium nanorod shape factors can be modified by changing the electrochemical conditions used during nanorod growth.

In collaboration with The Alfred Mann Institute for Bioengineering.