Cardiovascular stents and other medical implants increase lifespan and quality of life for millions around the world — yet adverse effects attenuate their full potential. Bionanomatrix coatings for such devices can vastly improve long-term outcomes.
Stents used to treat atherosclerotic stenosis in cardiac arteries sometimes give rise to re-stenosis, clot formation, inflammation, and other adverse effects associated with the body’s response to materials in the device. Other currently used technologies such as peripheral vascular stents, vascular bypass grafts, and prosthetic heart valves also suffer from these shortcomings. The need for natural tissue scaffolds to promote wound healing remains a significant therapeutic challenge.
A patent-pending, natural, self-assembling bionanomatrix coating for these applications has demonstrated potential to overcome these problems. This first-generation coating is composed of natural amino acids applied by a water-evaporation- based self-assembly technique. The coating mimics natural endothelium — the substance that lines blood vessels — to increase biocompatibility and boost the chances that the body will accept the implant device. This can help prevent post-operative tissue scarring that sometimes leads to thrombosis, or blood-flow blockage, among the reported 10 million people who receive implants annually.
U.S. healthcare costs connected to repeat procedures necessitated by clots and blood-flow blockage are estimated at more than $65 million each year. The bionanomatrix does not use organic solvents or synthetic polymers. The coating promotes sustained nitric oxide release and natural re-endothelialization, and inhibits thrombus formation. Endomimetics plans to continue with testing modifications of this technology on other devices, and preliminary results suggest the coating will significantly reduce the incidence of thrombosis in these implants. The company anticipates further innovations with its coating technology for such applications as heart valves and tissue scaffolds for wound healing.
This technology was done by Endomimetics, Birmingham, AL, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. For more information, visit http://info.hotims.com/34458-193.