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Medicine Technology

Dissolvable Electronic Stent Can Monitor Blocked Arteries 27

ckwu writes: To restore blood flow in a narrowed or blocked artery, doctors can implant a metal stent to hold open the vessel. But over time, stents can cause inflammation and turbulent blood flow that lead to new blockages. Now, researchers have designed a stent carrying a suite of onboard electronic blood-flow and temperature sensors, drug delivery particles, data storage, and communication capabilities to detect and overcome these problems. The entire device is designed to dissolve as the artery heals. Medical device companies and cardiologists could look at this electronic stent as a kind of menu from which they can pick whatever components are most promising for treating certain kinds of cardiovascular disease, the researchers say.
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Dissolvable Electronic Stent Can Monitor Blocked Arteries

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  • My first thought (Score:5, Interesting)

    by viperidaenz ( 2515578 ) on Tuesday May 12, 2015 @09:21PM (#49678451)

    My first thought is I hope the patients kidneys/liver don't have issues removing the dissolved electronic device from your blood, and the thing doesn't dislodge while still dissolving and damage a heart valve or cause some other blockage.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Yeah. This is complete overkill for what should be a very simple device. There's absolutely no reason do make something this complicated just because you can.
      • by tsotha ( 720379 )
        That's not what's happening here. They have a problem in the "simple device" they're trying to deal with.
    • Why not just dissolve the original blockage? I bet there is a two dollar solution to this.
      • If you read the article, there is an existing procedure that uses a dissolvable magnesium alloy mesh tube that expands to keep an artery open.

        That's all good, the human body actually uses magnesium.

        The additional electronics they're adding, who knows...

    • Considering bio-soluble stents have been around for several years, I don't think the stent structure itself is going to be a problem. The electronics, I wouldn't know. I didn't RTFA, but perhaps they remain lodged in the plaque that caused the stenosis to begin with. As far as causing another blockage, it has been well known for some time that restenosis will occur in a standard stent. Once endothelial function becomes impaired, plaque will accumulate. Drug eluting stents can postpone this, but there
  • A way off? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Chewbacon ( 797801 ) on Tuesday May 12, 2015 @09:38PM (#49678513)

    Just last year we were putting dissolving coronary stents in patients as a study in my lab. The researchers were highly selective about who was eligible based on a strict criteria. So I think putting electronics in them is even further off.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Dr. Esselstyn at the Cleveland clinic has this diet (yeah pretty much vegan) that can reverse artery disease! I know a few heart docs at Cleveland clinic and they always talked about this guy. I actually saw photos of a completely blocked artery on x ray that after weeks it slowly opened up by just changing diet. Apparently the teflon like sheath inside arteries can get damaged, his diet restored the sheath and no more blockage. So if that is possible, the only reason to create some crazy stent l

  • more of what the issue is with the stents implanted in the last 10 years, like how long I got doc?
  • Out of curiousity, when an artery is blocked with plague, what are the chances of it actually healing after a stent is popped in? My understanding was that the plague sticks to the wall and then the arterial wall kinda grows over it as a protection mechanism.

    • by tsotha ( 720379 )

      Out of curiousity, when an artery is blocked with plague...

      "Plaque", not "plague". An artery blocked with plague sounds very scary.

  • This technology opens new horizons for implementing planned obsolescence in TV sets, smartphones, vacuum cleaners...
  • by transporter_ii ( 986545 ) on Wednesday May 13, 2015 @06:40AM (#49680317) Homepage

    It seems exercise, in an actual trial, worked as good (or better) than a stent:

    November 16, 2011 (Orlando, Florida) — Adding a supervised exercise program to optimal medical care can improve walking performance better than performing stent revascularization in patients with symptomatic aortoiliac peripheral artery disease (PAD), a small randomized trial suggests [1].

    So...why would we do stents if exercise works as good or even better?

    "It's also notable that, at least in North America, stent procedures are reimbursed, [and] supervised exercise is not," Hirsch noted.

    http://www.medscape.com/viewar... [medscape.com]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Um, because getting people to stick with an exercise regimen is a lot harder than getting them to not cut their chest open and pull out a stent?

      • Objectively, literally, by measuring outcomes, "You should exercise and lose weight" and all its variations, is a miserable medical technique. It rarely works, and when it does, is reversed in 95% of those cases.

  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Wednesday May 13, 2015 @09:01AM (#49681325) Homepage
    There are several studies that claim un-medicated stents don't improve life expectancy. They only reduce the need for future surgeries on that particular artery. http://www.medicinenet.com/scr... [medicinenet.com]

"I say we take off; nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure." - Corporal Hicks, in "Aliens"

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