To unblock patient diseased heart vessels, cardiologists often place a stent prosthesis in the diseased artery to reopen and restore flow in the vessel. Current metal-based stents remain in the vessel, necessitating the long-term use of systemic anti-thrombotic drugs, affecting the vasomotion of the vessel and preventing repeat treatment, as well as potentially causing late complications such as thrombosis, interference with scanning technology or metal stent fracture-induced restenosis. While fully biodegradable stents have recently emerged to solve some of the limitations of current metal based stents, there are still significant limitations such as lack of radiopacity, large strut thickness (which negatively impacts deliverability) and poor mechanical strength (which means more extensive vessel preparation and less post-implantation gain, particularly in calcified lesions).
To address these limitations, the team will develop a nanocomposite material formulation comprising a polymer matrix reinforced with functionalized nanofillers. This nanocomposite material with enhanced mechanical properties can be used to fabricate biodegradable stent scaffolds with strut thickness of 100mm or less.
An optimized nanocomposite formulation which can be used to fabricate stents using current methods consisting of a i) biodegradable PLLA polymer reinforced with functionalized nanofillers and ii) comparative data to existing PLLA polymer technology.
Principal Investigator: Dr Nicolas FOIN
Institution: National Heart Centre Singapore
NHIC Ref: NHIC-I2D-1512034