Fabricating Inflatable Stents using Soft Robotic Technology [Video]

by | Nov 30, 2018

Soft stents that can inflate inside arteries offer an improved alternative to metallic stents.

Cardiovascular diseases are a major public health concern. In some cases, metallic stents offer a means to keep blood flowing to the heart. Inflatable stents, on the other hand, could provide a more comfortable, conformable alternative.

In Advanced Functional Materials, Profs. Simon Dunham and Bobak Mosadegh, along with their co-workers from the Dalio Institute of Cardiovascular Imaging (ICI) at NewYork-Presbyterian (NYP) Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical (WCM) College, develop inflatable stents for a wide range of endovascular treatments.

Dr. Amir Ali Amiri Moghadam: “Taking inspiration from soft robotics, we have developed soft stents that can inflate inside arteries after being deployed via a catheter.

The softness of the materials is attributed to the use of sandwiched sheets of thermoplastic polyurethane with poly(vinylalcohol) (PVA), which are heat-sealed together. A continuous honeycomb structure is laser-cut into the PVA to aid uniform inflation of the stent.

Dr. Sayedhamidreza Alaie: “Our design protocol for inflatable stents provides a proof-of-principle that can be adapted for other applications where conformability to the surrounding tissue is advantageous, for example, an inflatable heart valve.

To find out more about these inflatable stents, please visit the Advanced Functional Materials homepage.

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