New computer model could lead to safer stents

Dec 02, 2009 by Anne Trafton
Image: Elazer Edelman, Vijaya Kolachalama and Evan Levine

(PhysOrg.com) -- After suffering heart attacks, patients often receive stents designed to hold their arteries open. Some of these stents release drugs that are meant to halt tissue growth in arteries, but can have life-threatening side effects such as increasing the likelihood of blood clots and heart attacks.

Now a team of researchers in the MIT-Harvard Division of Health Sciences and Technology has developed a computer model that explains why those drugs (which include rapamycin and its analogs as well as ) can accumulate in the arteries and cause clots.

The model allows the scientists to predict, for the first time, drug distribution in branched . Their findings explain why drugs can pile up in certain areas, depending on where the stent is placed relative to forks in the artery.

Image: Elazer Edelman, Vijaya Kolachalama and Evan Levine

“By observing the arterial drug distribution patterns for various settings, we understood that drug released from the stent does not reach uniformly to all regions of the vessel and this non-uniformity depends on where the stent is placed in the artery as well as the blood flow that is entering the vessel,” says Edelman.

More than one million patients in the United States receive drug-releasing stents per year.

The results, reported today in PLoS One, could help stent developers design safer and more effective stents and raises the possibility of designing individualized stents for patients. It could aid the FDA in its approval process for stents.

Provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (news : web)

Explore further: The impact of bacteria in our guts

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Model predicts how to build a better stent

Jan 06, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers have been puzzled in recent years by observations that drug-releasing stents (mesh-like tubes implanted to hold patients' coronary arteries open) can increase the likelihood of blood clots and ...

Boston Scientific admits stent risks

Sep 07, 2006

The U.S.-based Boston Scientific Corp. has admitted there is an increased risk of blood clots caused by use of its drug-coated cardiac stent.

Drug-coated stents less risky for heart bypass patients

Jan 22, 2009

Coronary bypass surgery may carry less risk of serious complications if stents coated with a drug that suppresses cell growth are used in the procedure rather than bare-metal stents, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers ...

Recommended for you

The impact of bacteria in our guts

Aug 22, 2014

The word metabolism gets tossed around a lot, but it means much more than whether you can go back to the buffet for seconds without worrying about your waistline. In fact, metabolism is the set of biochemical ...

Stem cell therapies hold promise, but obstacles remain

Aug 22, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—In an article appearing online today in the journal Science, a group of researchers, including University of Rochester neurologist Steve Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., review the potential and ch ...

New hope in fight against muscular dystrophy

Aug 22, 2014

Research at Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology offers hope to those who suffer from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, an incurable, debilitating disease that cuts young lives short.

Biologists reprogram skin cells to mimic rare disease

Aug 21, 2014

Johns Hopkins stem cell biologists have found a way to reprogram a patient's skin cells into cells that mimic and display many biological features of a rare genetic disorder called familial dysautonomia. ...

User comments : 0