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New biodegradable bio-stent is said to improve therapy for heart diseases

New biodegradable bio-stent is said to improve therapy for heart diseases


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Dissolving zinc stents form the new stent generation

A stent is used in numerous cardiovascular diseases to prevent the vessels from closing, thus preventing a stroke or heart attack. Even if the tubes have already saved numerous lives, their use entails certain risks for complications. A new biodegradable stent made of zinc that simply dissolves over time is now said to improve the treatment of heart diseases.

A research group from the University Heart Center Freiburg - Bad Krozingen recently presented a novel stent that is intended to improve the treatment of heart diseases. The degradable stent is said to significantly reduce the risk of defense reactions and complications and does not have to be removed if it was implanted in a growth phase. In addition, patients are no longer dependent on taking medication permanently.

Life-saving tubes

Stents have been used for years to treat cardiovascular diseases. A stent is often used to prevent serious consequences such as heart attack or stroke, particularly as a result of hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis), peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAD) or coronary heart disease (CAD). The stent consists of a tubular wire mesh that is inserted into the constriction and keeps it open from now on.

What are the disadvantages of a stent?

Today's stents are often made of cobalt-chrome, cobalt-nickel or stainless steel. These materials are identified by the body as foreign substances and there is a risk of defense reactions. A stent is therefore always a risk of long-term side effects. Furthermore, possible subsequent operations are made more difficult by the stent. In addition, sufferers are dependent on long-term use of medication because the stent increases the risk of thrombosis (stent thrombosis). If a stent is used in childhood or adolescence, it must either be expanded or removed later because the tubes do not grow with it.

The country needs new stents

"We need new stents that have sufficient positioning force and at the same time are well tolerated by the body," emphasizes Professor Dr. Christoph Bode, the medical director of the Clinic for Cardiology and Angiology of the University Heart Center Freiburg-Bad Krozingen. When looking for suitable materials, zinc was chosen. "Zinc is used by the body as a trace element and is not perceived as a foreign body," explains Professor Dr. Christoph Hehrlein, who tested the new zinc stent extensively as part of a study. The body's rejection reaction and the associated complications are likely to be significantly lower.

Stent disintegrates within two years

The zinc stent is designed to dissolve within two years. Thereafter, those affected are no longer dependent on taking medication that only related to the stent and the associated risk of thrombosis. The new stent is a major step forward, especially for children and adolescents with vascular problems. The stent does not have to be expanded or removed as it grows. "In the best case scenario, the children are spared another intervention," emphasizes Hehrlein.

Study is funded with two million euros

The stent has already achieved good results in animal models, as a study in January 2019 in the specialist journal "Plos One" showed. Now the zinc tubes are to be tested extensively in a clinical study on humans in order to investigate for which group of patients the new stents are particularly suitable. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research showed great interest in research and supports the study with two million euros. (vb)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek

Swell:

  • University Heart Center Freiburg - Bad Krozingen: Biodegradable stent is said to reduce complications (accessed: July 19, 2019), herzzentrum.de
  • Hehrlein, Christoph / Schorch, Björn / Kress, Nadia / u.a .: Zn-alloy provides a novel platform for mechanically stable bioresorbable vascular stents, Plos One, 2019, journals.plos.org



Video: GCSE Biology - Why Do We Get Heart Disease and How to Treat It? - Cardiovascular Disease CVD #20 (June 2022).


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