World first research: Stent coating that fools the body into better acceptance

Research Updates

Our scientists pioneering world first stent coating

There’s no doubt that cardiac implants or stents save lives. Coronary heart disease - a narrowing or blockage of the blood vessels of the heart - kills around 73,000 Britons each year. The NHS estimates there are are an estimated 2.3 million people living with coronary heart sisease in the UK).

The small scaffold stent props open the diseased artery to prevent heart attacks. But because the body treats stents as foreign, the risk of blood clots is ever present. 

Narrowing or blocking of the stented blood can occur in as many as half of all patients. This can cause a relapse of chest pain and other symptoms, and in extreme cases can be fatal. ‘Drug eluting’ stents were made to address this, secreting drugs to lower the risk of re-narrowing, but the trade-off is a higher risk of heart attack due to blood clots forming in the stent.

In a joint project, researchers from the Immunobiology Group and the Translational Reserch and Bioengineering Group, are developing the world’s first stent coating technology that uses a biomimicry approach, fooling the body so that it integrates with the foreign stent. This will hopefully mean in the future doctors will be able to implant stents that are more compatible with the body, leading to better outcomes for cardiac patients, and less subsequent risk of complications and death.

“The problem with the current steel stents is that they are not biocompatible: they are prone to blood clotting and cells don’t like growing on them. That translates to going back to hospital in three to five years. Some people think that’s a reasonable trade-off, to go and get your stent fixed up every few years. Our argument is that we can do better,” says Dr Christina Bursill, Immunobiology Group Leader at the Heart Research Institute.
“This remarkable coating technology achieves a 10-fold reduction in clotting and enhances blood vessel healing after the stent is placed, thereby improving the outcomes of patients undergoing stenting procedures. This result has profound implications for the development of next generation stents with much better clinical outcomes for patients.”

Previous
Next

Related news

Crystal ball molecule predicts diabetes before it strikes

HRI researchers have developed a simple test to predict diabetes more than a decade before it strikes, a breakthrough that could help ease the impending diabetes epidemic. The team has uncovered an important molecule found in liver fat that can identify who is most at risk of developing diabetes and other cardio-metabolic disorders like liver disease.  

Read more

New drug hope to target silent killer

An exciting new treatment for very high blood pressure is on the horizon after a world-first discovery by Heart Research Institute scientists, who have uncovered a brain chemical instrumental in triggering hypertension, the so-called silent killer responsible for the deaths of thousands of Australians each year.

The researchers are optimistic the results, published this week in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, will ultimately lead to a powerful new treatment that blocks a neurotransmitter and frees patients from the dangers of hypertension. 

Read more

Gout Drug Mends Broken Hearts

A drug used to treat arthritis has been found to clear clogged arteries in heart attack survivors, world-first HRI research shows.

The landmark discovery by Associate Professor Sanjay Patel, Leader of the Cell Therapeutics Group, and his team at the HRI paves the way for a cheap, simple and effective treatment regime that could protect thousands of heart patients from future attacks that might kill them or further damage their heart. 

Read more