Smart Stent to Detect Blood Flow in Arteries

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The smart stent can detect even subtle changes in the flow of blood through arteries to identify narrowing of arteries in early stage

Researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) has modified a stent to function as a miniature antenna. They added a micro-sensor developed by them to continuously track blood flow through the arteries of a person.

Diagnose narrowing of arteries in early stage

For patients, who have had a stent implanted to keep clogged arteries open, there are very high chances of experiencing restenosis -the renewed narrowing of the artery due to plaque buildup or scarring. This can add further complication to their heart condition.

Hence, to reduce chances of heart attack and detect narrowing of arteries by continuously monitoring the rate of blood flow, scientists have come up with a smart stent. the smart stent can send data wirelessly to an external reader and provide constantly updated information regarding artery’s condition.

Researchers claim that it’s the first angioplasty-ready smart stent that can be implanted using current medical procedures without modifications. The device is similar to most commercial stents and uses medical-grade stainless steel

“X-rays such as CT or diagnostic angiograms, which are the standard tools for diagnosis, can be impractical or inconvenient for the patient,” said Dr York Hsiang, a UBC professor of surgery. “Putting a smart stent in place of a standard one can enable physicians to monitor their patient’s health more easily and offer treatment, if needed, in a timely manner,” he added.

Researchers tested their device prototype in the lab and in a swine model and found positive results. The team is now planning to establish industry partnerships to further refine the device. They want to put it through clinical trials and eventually commercialize it.