Metal stents are implanted inside the body in order to smoothen the flow of blood through the coronary artery and prevent blood clotting in patients with heart diseases. The primary objective behind planting these stents is to reduce the risk of heart attack amongst patients with prior heart diseases. However, the long-term usage of these stents can cause further complications by damaging the arteries. In order to find a more congenial alternative to metal stents, polymer stents were introduced a few years ago. The intent behind designing polymer stents was to let the blood vessels absorb the material of these stents, thus, eliminating the risks associated with long-term implantation. Later, polymer stents were found to cause more heart attacks than the metal stents.
Faults with Polymer Stents
Research conducted at MIT has outlined the reason behind the failure of polymer stents. The researchers state that the evaluation procedures for polymer stents were similar to those of metal stents, which was the primary fault in analysis. Since polymers and metals do not exhibit the same behavior, it is faulty to compare the mechanics of metal stents to polymer stents. The researchers also expound that people have been using the wrong metrics, and have perceived incorrect timescales in the absence of proper tools. The polymer stents showed erosion at a sluggish pace because of which the flaws could not be observed by other researchers until now.
New Method to Analyze Metrics
The researchers have proposed a new method that could help in analyzing the microstructure of medical devices. This would help them in evaluating the usefulness of stents and biodegradable polymers. The method helps in understanding the metrics with a high level of clarity, thus, accentuating the process of stent-testing.