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Biodegradable Metal Stents: A Focused Review on Materials and Clinical Studies

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Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease caused by plaque building up along the inner walls of coronary arteries which narrows the lumen and reduces blood flow. Stenting is the current standard procedure to treat the disease by opening the narrowed arteries and restoring the blood flow. Stenting has been revolutionary evolved from the use of bare metal stents made of corrosion resistant alloys to the incorporation of anti-proliferative drugs in the drug eluting stents. Despite the advantages and limitation of the current stent technology, the permanent presence of stents in the arteries is questionable, especially for some applications, including pediatric, in presence of collateral arteries, and others. Biodegradable stents, designed to support the arterial wall and disappear after its remodelling, therefore constitute an interesting choice, possibly representing the next revolutionary treatment of CAD. Magnesium, iron, zinc and their alloys are among metals have been proposed as biodegradable stent materials. These metals are designed to degrade in vivo through corrosion process without posing toxicity problems to the body and called as biodegradable metals. Stents made of magnesium and its alloys have been the most studied, developed and reached clinical trials in humans, followed by those made of iron which reached in vivo studies in animals. Meanwhile, zinc is just recently proposed with only few studies have been reported. This papers presents a focused review on the development of biodegradable metals for stents.


Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: November 1, 2014

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  • Journal of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering (JBT) is an international peer-reviewed journal that covers all aspects of biomaterials, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The journal focuses on the broad spectrum of research topics including all types of biomaterials, their properties, bioimplants and medical devices, biofilms, bioimaging, BioMEMS/NEMS, biosensors, fibers, tissue scaffolds, tissue engineering and modeling, artificial organs, tissue interfaces, interactions between biomaterials, blood, cells, tissues, and organs, regenerative medicine and clinical performance.
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