Shape memory polymers based on poly(alkylene terephthalate)s for an improved cardiovascular stent

01 November 2019 → 31 October 2023
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Synthesis of materials
  • Engineering and technology
    • Biomaterials
    • Functionalisation of materials
cardiovascular stent
Project description

Cardiovascular disease has been the number one cause of death worldwide for many years. Peripheral artery disease (PAD), in which the artery leading to a limb (e.g. superficial femoral artery) is occluded and blood flow obstructed, is one of the most common forms of cardiovascular diseases. Although many treatments are already available, such as balloon angioplasty (with or without stent deployment) and bypass surgery, a lot of research is conducted to improve procedures. The main problems associated with the existing treatments are the high rates of restenosis (recurrence of the occlusion) and thrombosis. Often drugs are used to prevent these complications, but these result in a high cost and adverse effects. In this project, we aim to eliminate most, and if possible all, shortcomings of current stents. To this end, we will use poly(alkylene terephthalate)s (PAT’s) as a base material for stents, as they have shown favourable biological properties. They will be modified into shape memory polymers, allowing for expansion of the stent inside the body without the use of balloon expansion, which damages the arterial wall. We will 3D-print the developed material on a rotating mandrel to produce the stent, allowing for easy personalization of the stent in terms of diameter and length. Finally, the stents will be functionalized with a peptide in order to obtain cell selectivity, which will result in a lower risk of restenosis and thrombosis to occur.