Device to diagnose stent malfunctioning. Assessing the structural integrity of implanted stents non-invasively
Fundació Institut d’Investigació en Ciències de la Salut Germans Trias i Pujol (IGTP), Badalona, Spain
Stents, which are broadly used to treat vascular diseases, are the most implanted device in medicine. However, they can develop structural problems after implantation and during follow-up, which may lead to severe complications and even sudden death. Current diagnostic techniques to assess stent integrity are time-consuming and very expensive.
Stent malfunctioning is a symptom-driven diagnostic and, as such, has dramatically low precision rates. Angiography is the gold-standard diagnostic technique, but involves surgery, hospitalization, and X-ray radiation exposure for both the patient and medical staff. This is a very expensive procedure that requires highly trained-personnel.
Moreover, a new wave of bioresorbable stents are being implanted, which require antiaggregant therapy. However, the absorption rates greatly vary from patient to patient, and currently there are no tools to know when to discontinue drug therapies.
By exploiting the electromagnetic properties of implantable stents, Oriol Iborra and team have developed a non-invasive, cost-effective monitoring system. Using non-ionizing microwaves, the status of the implanted stent can be assessed in a precise, fast and painless manner, eliminating the need for highly trained professionals, costly hospitalizations and radiation exposure, as well as the sedation and risks for the patient associated with such diagnostics. Additionally, this device allows clinicians to precisely determine when the patient can abandon antiaggregant therapies or need further continuation.